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Dec 5, 2009

Advent horror show- Krampus Comes!

One of the Austrian customs I am truly captivated with is the ancient tradition of the appearance during Advent of a character called Krampus, a scary cohort of St. Nick.  This is a fearsome, hairy man with great pointy horns, kind of an Anti-Santa, who comes to frighten bad children today, on Krampus Day.  He is native to only Austria (mostly the west), Bavaria and part of Hungary.

Centuries ago Krampus was banned by the Inquisition when his appearance was punishable by death.  But the tradition has crept back (don't spill the beans!).  In Advent festivals here you can encounter a "Krampus run", like a running of the bulls, when Krampus tears through crowds shaking huge bells and chains, whipping people to scare the evil out of them.  Here the monsters- several of them!- were accompanied by another amazing appearance: musicians with flaming trumpets!  (Austrians really love FIRE!)  But if you are creeped out by this, one source states that since Krampus day is followed immediately by Saint Nicholus Day, when St. N comes to fill childrens' shoes with gifts, "it's really not so bad!"     ...More photos here.
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Tim Holmes Studio

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I'm a sculptor/filmmaker living in Montana, USA. I am using art to move the evolution of humanity forward into an increasingly responsive, inclusive and interactive culture. As globalization flattens peoples into a capitalist monoculture I hope to use my art to celebrate historical cultural differences and imagine how we can co-create a rich future together.

I see myself as an artist/philosopher laboring deep in the mines of joy. I've had a good long career of exhibiting work around the world and working on international outreach projects, most notably being the first American to be invited to present a one-person exhibit in the Hermitage Museum. Recently I have turned my attention from simply making metal sculpture to creating films and workshops for engaging communities directly, tinkering with the very ideas and mechanisms behind cultural transformation. I feel that as we face tragic world crises, if the human species favors our imaginative and creative capacities we can cultivate a rich world to enjoy.

For me the deepest satisfaction in making art comes in engaging people's real life concerns rather than providing simple entertainment or decoration. Areas of conflict or tension are particularly ripe for the kind of transformative power that art uniquely carries. I invite any kind of challenge that serves people on a deep level.