Your Black Horizon: Olafur Eliasson And David Adjaye


Your black horizon, an installation by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson which was commissioned by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary and inaugurated in June 2005 at the Venice Biennale, has recently reopened as part of an ongoing project Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Pavilions.

Your black horizon is an example of the artist’s interest in the phenomenon of light, colour, geometry, perception, movement and space. It is placed in a temporary pavilion, designed in close collaboration with the London-based architect David Adjaye. In a windowless pavilion a thin horizontal line directed through a narrow gap at eye level serves as the primary light source. The light is constantly changing colour and rotates through the entire colour spectrum every few minutes.

Olafur Eliasson nudges the viewer into a perceptual awareness, as the pavilion is completely emptied of any visual distractions leaving the pure intensity of the changing horizon line. The distance that the viewers feel whenever looking at the line separating earth and heaven is foremost a temporal phenomenon but it is also this very line from which viewers develop their own subjective imagination of space and time: perception of time is realized through perception of space, and vice versa.

As Eliasson states, “If the public gets involved in a stimulating situation, the situation ‘commits itself’ in return. There’s a reversal of subject and object here: the viewer becomes the object and the context becomes the subject. I always try to turn the viewer into what’s on show, make him mobile and dynamic.”



On Saturday 9 September Olafur Eliasson and David Adjaye will be discussing the project with Daniel Birnbaum, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Francesca von Habsburg and others in a special event coinciding with the Architecture Biennale. To find out more about the event and the Eliasson/Adjaye project please visit the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary website.

A panel discussion hosted by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary on the occasion of the 10th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice

‘Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Pavilions: Home to Contemporary Statements’
Saturday 9 September, 2006 – 5.00 pm
Location: Island of San Lazzaro degli Armeni, Venice

Daniel Birnbaum, Director and Professor, Städelschule Art Academy and Portikus Gallery, Frankfurt am Main

David Adjaye, Architect, London
Olafur Eliasson, Artist, Berlin
Jude Kelly, Artistic Director, South Bank Centre, London
Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Co-director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects, Serpentine Gallery, London
Andreas Ruby, Architectural critic and theorist, Cologne
Francesca von Habsburg, Chairman, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary

A boat shuttle will be provided to and from the island, departing from San Zaccaria.

For more details, please contact

Your black horizon
will be on public display in Venice until 31 October.

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