Saturday, November 19th, 7pm-10pm
Soap Plant Wacko, 4633 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
BOOK-SIGNING, SLIDE AND VIDEO TALK, KRAMPUS KWIZ, COSTUMED DEVILRY, AND MOLTEN LEAD FORTUNE-TELLING. SPECIAL MUSICAL SET TALEA.
Last appearing at La Luz De Jesus Gallery at the 2012 publication party for Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society, a national group of guerilla artists and pranksters in which he played a leading role, author Al Ridenour returns tonight as Krampus researcher par excellence with his new book The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas.
In this new incarnation, Ridenour has obsessively translated his way through countless 19th-century compendiums of folk tales and superstitions, medieval witchcraft documents, and rhymed folk plays, networked with contemporary Krampus groups and mask-carvers, corresponded with Austrian anthropologists and museums, and traveled to the Alps to be properly smacked by whips and tossed into snowbanks by rampaging devils. He’s even sweated inside his own handcrafted suit as part of LA’s annual Krampus festival, which he helped found in 2013 and now directs. With the publication of The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas, Ridenour offers a summation of these explorations in one entertainingly written lavishly illustrated volume examining not only the Krampus but related folklore of Alpine witches, ghosts, spectral armies, diabolical hunstmen, and murderous saints.
Ridenour’s lively, often comic presentation includes slides, video clips, costumes, an audience-participation Krampus Kwiz with prizes (and punishments) and a demonstration of Bleigiessen, and ancient European form of fortune-telling using molten lead and associated with the “old, dark Christmas” of his book.
A special musical set will be provided by TALEA, offering a unique mix of ambient/electronic soundscapes, tribal percussion, ambient and abrasive guitar, along with spoken word and operatic vocals.