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Dec 5, 2011

Krampus Day: Putting the Darkness Back into Joy!

Krampus, coming for the children.
Contemporary culture really loves to make everything about happiness and cheer. It's just easier to jump to the head of the feels-good line!

This week the Tim Holmes Studio is hosting a antidote to that temptation.  Duende  is an art exhibit-installation-performance (more details here) to honor the dark time of year. I take my cue from Krampus (view more of my photos), who is honored today. He's the fearsome, hairy Austrian figure who visits children, accompanying St. Nickolaus, whose day is tomorrow.

Duende is an art term, but it's not easy to describe. It's not a style or subject or period, but more like an attitude in which art is created: in the shadow of death. The awareness of the darkness is what gives meaning and depth to life. The Duende show gives a multi-media taste of these depths for all the senses.

Joy or happiness or success is cheap and flaccid if it is unaccompanied by darkness. This art event points out the sublime beauty of the dark side of life.

The show is one night only, Thurs, Dec. 8 at the Tim Holmes Studio 446 N. Hoback, Helena, 6:30 curtain. $8 a head. Call 406-442-4233.
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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.