Your black horizon Art Pavilion, 2005

Photo: Zoran Marinovic
Photo: Zoran Marinovic
Photo: Zoran Marinovic
Photo: Michael Strasser
Photo: Michael Strasser
Photo: Michael Strasser
Photo: Michael Strasser
Photo: Michael Strasser

Red, green, and blue LED lights, control unit, aluminum, translucent acrylic in a custom-produced pavilion designed by David Adjaye
10 min 29 sec (daylight cycle)
470 x 2420 x 1897 cm

Your black horizon Art Pavilion is an interdisciplinary project by artist Olafur Eliasson and architect David Adjaye, commissioned by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, in which the fields of art and architecture are merged into an “interlocking equation”, wherein ephemeral visual appearance and architectural formulations exist simultaneously. Inaugurated in June 2005 as an official project at the 51st Bienniale di Venezia, the pavilion has found an (im)permanent home on the island of Lopud in Croatia.

This new distinctive location, nestled in a sloping terrain of cypress trees, cacti and olive groves, invited a different site-specific interaction between the installation and the Mediterranean landscape it inhabits. Embedded in Lopud’s rich Renaissance heritage and preserved nature, Your black horizon Art Pavilion reveals new meanings of the landscape. The pavilion seeks new modes of artistic and architectural engagement with the given locality, to embrace an interaction with nature and local communities and to engage a wider appreciation of the role of art in unexpected sites and circumstances.

Following the idea of sharing a wider appreciation of art and architecture in unconventional locations, the pavilion establishes a daring interdisciplinary collaboration. The visitors are welcomed to the pavilion through a louvered outdoor corridor, which also serves as an observation platform of the landscape. The ramped passage performs an orchestrated move, which slows the journey and focuses the attention. Once inside the windowless pavilion, a thin horizontal line of light directed through a narrow gap at eye level, encircles and invades the black space, uninterrupted by any visual obstruction. Olafur Eliasson describes the spatial and visual experience of accessing the pavilion and being drawn into the light installation as follows: “Both pavilion and horizon work with sequentiality and light: The visitor moves from the entrance of the pavilion, to seeing natural daylight filtered through its louvers, to the passageway leading into the interior (…), which brings one into the black space with your black horizon.” David Adjaye added: “This project affords a unique opportunity in which the artist and architect share the same studio (albeit metaphorically) to engage, to respond to one another, and to respond to the site specified for the pavilion.” 

Calibrated to the specific light conditions on Lopud, the light changes color through a cyclic spectrum of a single day, from sunrise to sunset, imprinting a horizon line onto the back of viewers’ retinas and activating their memory of the natural horizon. Upon exiting the pavilion, visitors can draw their own “black horizon” line, which is embedded on their retinas for a few more seconds, onto the horizon that stretches between the neighboring islands of Sipan and Mljet, thus for a few moments becoming an integral part of the work itself.

Olafur Eliasson: *1967 in Copenhagen, Denmark | Living and working in Copenhagen, Denmark and Berlin, Germany
David Adjaye: *1966 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania | Living and working in London, United Kingdom
Lopud Island, Croatia
(50 min from Dubrovnik by ferry)
Opening times
June 15 - September 15, 2022
Daily 10 am to 6 pm; Closed on Sundays
Free admission
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La Villa
T +385 91 322 0126,
Supported by
With the consent of the City of Dubrovnik and support of Lopud Town Council.
Artist's website