Think all the Y2K hype was bad? Try living at the end of the 9th century, when, because of the millennial predictions of St. John, the Christians were sure that the end of the world was upon them. The fact that the Arabs had invaded and conquered the Iberian Peninsula and the Visigoths dominated Spain only solidified their fears. In the midst of all this apocalyptic ruckus, a monk named Beatus of Liebana sat down and wrote his own commentary on the apocalypse, a text that became a medieval bestseller of sorts. Scribes loved his dark work and for the next three centuries, they copied the words and drew fantastic illuminations to accompany them. A thousand years later, UNC-Chapel Hill grad Jonathan Jacquet has delved into a new representation of Beatus' vision, only his version is 3-D: He carves life-size bodies from lime wood, then stretches and sews leather over them (pictured). Woman in the Sun, an exhibit of Jacquet's macabre figures, is on display at Lump gallery through Dec. 31, just in time for the real turn of the millennium. Call 821-9999.
Thirty years ago, artist Judy Chicago launched the feminist art movement in the United States with her controversial installation, "The Dinner Party." For the last three decades, she has devoted the bulk of her career to creating art that explores and celebrates women's experiences. This weekend, Chicago's students will offer their own take on three issues central to Chicago's career: women's history, birth and the Holocaust. With art and text-based projects inspired by Chicago's work, 28 Duke University students will exhibit their largely feminist, provocative looks at women's issues from the perspective of a younger generation. From Theory to Practice: A Journey of Discovery will run from Thursday, Dec. 7, through Saturday, Dec. 9, at the John Hope Franklin Center, located at 2204 Erwin Rd. in Durham. The exhibition will kick off Thursday night with a 5:30-7:30 p.m. reception that features student-guided tours and a performance piece. The event is free and open to the public. --Clancy Nolan