As a commission for the subway station of Odenplan in Stockholm, an underground greenhouse was installed on the platform. Inside the glass-and-steel structure, two inflatable “lungs” were inserted; pulsating day and night, the lungs suggested the greenhouse as a bellows, suffusing the underground station with oxygen. In fact, the air in the station was so bad (due to dust from the trains and commuters) that the inside of the sculpture slowly transformed from red and green to gray and gray. This entropic switch—from respirator to vacuum cleaner—was unintended, and gave the work a productive mission rather than a symbolic one. After one year, Red/Greenhouse was dismantled due to the effects of pollution.


"Red/Greenhouse," 1993
Glass, painted steel, PVC, fans, timers, 6 x 3 x 3 m
Illustration by Johan Mets
Photo: Björn Elgstrand