Krampus Talk at San Diego Art Institute

THURSDAY DECEMBER 15, 2016, (6-8pm)
San Diego Art Institute, 1439 El Prado, San Diego, CA, 92101

Thanks to the merciless marketing of a certain film to moviegoers last Christmas, most Americans now know something about the Krampus — or think they do. Even as those cinematic horror tropes muddy the waters, there’s a growing domestic subculture of eager to enjoy a more authentically European take on the Krampus tradition. Over the last several years, dozens of costumed Krampus runs have sprung up in assorted American cities, including exceptionally robust activity in Los Angeles, where visiting members of European troupes have marched alongside their American counterparts in devilish, switch-swinging camaraderie.

The creative force behind LA’s annual Krampus Run artist and writer Al Ridenour, today will speak on the topic of the Krampus and his newly published book The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas. Along the history and mythology of this creature, he’ll explore the figure’s folkloric background in the superstition drenched Christmas season of old Germany and Austria, nights haunted by ghostly processions, forest spirits, witches, and werewolves. The talk will be illustrated by slides from Ridenour’s richly illustrated book, rare archival video clips and costume examples.