Housing fairs have been important for the town-building development of Malmö, and so was NordForm90, a Nordic exhibition that took place in the summer of 1990. My contribution, Paradise, was a complex, surrealist exhibition garden. It was one of my early projects, contemporary with the Oncological Clinic and Summer – Winter. It was about opposites – life and death, organic and mineral, black and white. A stream of water flowed straight through the garden. It started in an artificial waterfall, which issued from an arch, and ended in another waterfall pouring into the dock. Everything close to the watercourse was green and flourishing. A grass-covered, singing island rose above the surface of the water; a giant newt had crawled out of the stream. Beside the current, in the middle, the water was placid. The islands were white cliffs made of concrete with no plants. A wooden deck surrounded the whole structure, as if had been a swimming pool or the deck of a ship. On the deck there were thin, pliant masts with vertical white and feathery streamers made of rustling spinnaker material, which made you think of sails or wisps of cloud, engaged in a spiraling, out-turned motion. The garden was marked off from its surroundings by means of shadow. The shadow was represented by a mound of black coal on the quay-edge, a painted, dark form on the adjacent façade and a closely meshed five-meter-high black net which was put up on the two other sides –the garden as a drawing in black and white.
Coal played an important role in the garden. The coal in the coal heap contained the same chemical element, carbon, as living organisms, plants and human beings. The coal heap was like a store that was available for plants and people, a deposit or remains from the past.
My plans also included a black hole – a sunken area in the dock that received the water and where the water finally disappeared. A tin basin with pumps was constructed; it was hoisted down and moored. It floated there for a couple of minutes, just outside Paradise. Then a speedboat with powerful engines whizzed past, creating a big wave. The black hole sunk. I believe it is still there, at the bottom of the dock.