HORST is a celebration of art and music in a setting like no other, a refreshing take on what a festival can be. The two day festival offers alternative electronic music. During these two days, an exhibition of art in the public spaces around the castle also starts for a period of 2 months. For the 2015 edition, curating duo Gijs Van Vaerenbergh (Pieterjan Gijs en Arnout Van Vaerenbergh) invited a selection of artists and designers to create art that makes use of the context, namely that of the historic and rural character of the castle, but also that of the two day music festival.
The festival dedicates itself to present various pieces of art, each within its own tempo, ranging from digital, performance or video art to sculptures and temporary installations. During the festival weekend there's a focus on the pieces that bridge both components of the festival. A prime example of this approach is the work that pioneering architectural duo Robbrecht & Daem architects designed for this edition: a pavillion used as a stage during the festival.
Artist Lodewijk Heylen has a similar ‘authentic vs artificial’ approach but used the medium of sculpting. His sculpture ‘Übermenschlich: Diestiaan’ consists out of an artificial reconstruction of iron sandstone that was used as raw material in the building of the castle. He thought up a process by which iron grains go through the process of oxidation and fossilization faster. By doing so, his setup demonstrated the full cycle of the origination of the raw material all the way to its usage in the castle.
Video artist Alexandra Crouwers was fascinated by the decorative patterns she encountered in the stucco of the castle. Her video ‘Rosetta’ showed a psychedelic video projection that is projected onto the castle tower during the festival, visually linking exterior and interior. With the work of sculptor and cabinet-maker Kaspar Hamacher and architectural collective 88888, the focus shifted from the castle to its surroundings. Kaspar Hamacher used a fallen tree he found on the site. Using an intensive treatment process, he was able to transform part of it into a fascinating black sculpture.
The architects of 88888 made a subtle and abstract incision in the face of the water. An estranging intervention that interrupted the continuity of the water and responds to the experience of walking around the castle’s pond.
Next to the installations that used the spatial context as a starting point, there was also work on display that clearly connects to the music festival. One of the eye catchers is the ‘Castra’ pavillion by Robbrecht en Daem architecten i.c.w. Mouton that will was used as a second stage during the festival weekend. With simple architectural means they define elementary architecture that shelters and closes. The shell in translucent corrugated sheet captured and filtered light, showing a deformed and suggestive image of what’s went on inside.
The artists of Children of the Light also made a link between visual arts and music festival by way of a scenographic intervention. The work connected music experience to spatial conditions and could be seen as an experiment with the format of a festival. And then, there’s the work of writer Koen Sels and the duo Wim Goossens and Arnaud Hendrickx. Koen Sels was invited to design a neon sculpture that will be on display at the waterfront, with the green tree line as its backdrop. Sels was asked to tackle the challenge of handling two problematic genres: that of neon art and that of poetry in the public domain and looked for ways to go beyond their clichés. Wim Goossens and Arnaud Hendrickx used the ‘Isopleth’ installation that they made for the previous edition as a starting point: the first result of a long term collaboration.
In 2015 HORST expanded musically as well and programmed two equal stages with a variety of adventurous, leftfield names in electronic music. HORST looked into the scenes of leading music capitals and kept its ears both in old and new. HORST offered a wide range of international acclaimed artists, local heroes and tomorrow's talents. Among them were: DJ EZ, Benji B, Gerd Janson, Job Jobse, Tom Trago, Jeremy Underground, Tama Sumo & Lakuti, Oneman, Palms Trax, Sinjin Hawke & Zorah Jones, FaltyDL and many others.