Katie Paterson, Future Library: A Century Unfolds, 2019

We are thrilled to present online for the first time this recent artist’s film, which was commissioned for the latest NOW exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. It tells the story, to date, of Scottish artist Katie Paterson’s expansive 100-year artwork, Future Library, based in Oslo, and brings together the artist and the many collaborators who have made it possible.

Future Library was inaugurated in 2014. A forest was planted in Norway, which will supply paper for a special anthology of books to be printed in 2114. One writer every year of the project will contribute a text, with the writings held in trust, unread and unpublished, until the one hundred years has passed.

The manuscripts will be stored in a specially designed room in the new public library in Oslo. The writers who have contributed texts to date, and who appear in the film, are Margaret Atwood (2014), David Mitchell (2015), Sjón (2016), Elif Shafak (2017) and Han Kang (2018). The 2019 author is Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgård, who will present his manuscript during 2020.

Future Library: A Century Unfolds

Katie Paterson, Future Library: A Century Unfolds, 2019, colour video projection, sound, 26 mins
Courtesy of the Artist. Film commissioned by National Galleries of Scotland with support from the Future Library Trust, 2019. 


Future Library, 2014-2114 is commissioned and produced by Bjørvika Utvikling, and managed by the Future Library Trust. Supported by the City of Oslo, Agency for Cultural Affairs and Agency for Urban Environment