Patterned wall – Janusz Stega

Dalle à motifs [Patterned wall], Janusz Stega, 1999


1999, Digne-les-Bains, Parc Saint-Benoît, Patterned rolls, sand, whitewash, cement, pigments, 9 x 6 m

Inspired by the geological sites of the Ammonite fossil slab and the Birds’ footprints, Janusz Stega, on being invited to a residency in Digne in 1999, created a monumental work on a section of retaining wall of the Musée Promenade. Janusz Stega invites us to take part in plays of comparison: deciphering a (hi)story, suggested layer after layer, style after style. In doing so, he adopts the ways and means of geological time and reproduces the more personal processes of individual memory. The strata of a period of time are deposited in the geological, historical and artistic layers.

Born in 1958 in Cracow (Poland), Janusz Stega lives and works in Lille. In 1975, he discovered the existence of rolls of rubber covered with decorative patterns that building painters in his country of origin used to create the illusion of wallpaper, which was very expensive at the time. Shortly afterwards, he always used these rolls in his paintings and photographs. In both cases, there is a play between the pattern created by the passage of the roll (which is of a decorative nature) and the history that it camouflages. For the artist, these decorative patterns have become the letters of an indecipherable text, the only evidence of a time that is gone forever

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