Pulp Press by John Gerrard at the Kistefos Museum, Norway

The Kistefos Museum in Norway
A permanent installation by Irish artist John Gerrard, Pulp Press has just opened at the Kistefos Museum in Norway
(Image credit: John Gerrard)

A new work by Irish artist John Gerrard has just opened in the sculpture park of Norway's Kistefos Museum in Jevnaker, about 60km north of Oslo. The permanent work, 'Pulp Press (Kistefos) 2013', is located in the grounds of a 19th-century paper mill and has brought the industrial machine back to life, albeit as a digital simulacrum built with software that is more typically used by the military and gaming programmers.

It has taken a couple of years for Gerrard and his team to reconstruct the mill digitally, with missing pipes, valves and components sourced and added to create a true-to-life, digital replica. Gerrard's virtual mill is now presented to the public as a projection within a bespoke concrete pavilion, designed in collaboration with Dublin's A2 Architects.

The work's physical presence is also inherent in the daily increasing 'stock' of digital sheets of paper pulp it produces - digital files that are inspired by historic images. They accumulate in hard-disk units inside the pavilion, emulating the piles of wood pulp bales that the mill once produced. As each hard disk is filled, another is required, and so the project expands forever more. While we may live in a 'paperless' world, Gerrard is keen to remind us that even digital data is stored in a physical world.

The pavilion is the latest in a series of collaborations between Gerrard and A2 Architects, and joins sculptures in the park by artists including Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Marc Quinn and Anish Kapoor.

Old 19th century paper mill

Located on the site of an old 19th century paper mill, the museum commissioned this installation, which consists of a large projected moving image of the original press, housed in a concrete pavilion

(Image credit: John Gerrard)

The original paper mil

The original paper mill that inspired the project at the Kistefos Museum was decommissioned in 1950

(Image credit: John Gerrard)

Gerrard's artwork pays homage to the old paper mill

Gerrard's artwork pays homage to the old paper mill that used to operate in the museum site since the 1800s

(Image credit: John Gerrard)

The old paper mill are projected onto the pavilion's screen

The Irish artist's work often uses simulation and modern technologies. For Pulp Press, images of the old paper mill are projected onto the pavilion's screen

(Image credit: John Gerrard)

The Kistefos Museum Sculpture Park is only a short trip from Oslo

Idylically located in the Norwegian countryside, the Kistefos Museum Sculpture Park is only a short trip from Oslo

(Image credit: John Gerrard)

Housed in a 100 sq m poured concrete structure

The installation is housed in a 100 sq m poured concrete structure designed in collaboration with Dublin-based architects A2

(Image credit: John Gerrard)


Kistefos Museum, Samsmoveien 41
N-3520 Jevnaker, Norway


Elias Redstone is Wallpaper’s Australia editor and an acclaimed arts leader. He is the founder and artistic director of Photo Australia / PHOTO International Festival of Photography, Melbourne. Previously, Elias was senior curator of The Architecture Foundation, London. He has curated exhibitions for museums and galleries internationally including Barbican Art Gallery, London; Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York; and Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne. His book Shooting Space: Architecture in Contemporary Photography is published by Phaidon.