Mashup – Iwalewahaus opens its new exhibition space

Iwalewahaus, University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany
30 May 2015 - 27 Sep 2015

Mashup – Iwalewahaus opens its new exhibition space

‘Mashup’ is an exhibition of artworks by contemporary artists from Africa generated during the research project ‘Mash up the Archive’ which has taken place at Iwalewahaus in Bayreuth over the last two years.

The project has so far been accompanied by two “Mash up the archive-Festivals” in 2012 and 2013 and is being financially supported by ‘Kulturstiftung des Bundes’ and ‘Oberfrankenstiftung’. The concept of the project has been developed by the Kenyan curator Sam Hopkins and being realised at Iwalewahaus in Bayreuth.

At the core of the project are a series of four artist residencies in which six visual artists were invited to explore the diverse archive of African Art housed at the Iwalewahaus, and develop new artworks in response to this cultural production. The artworks which have been developed present a series of distinct and considered approaches to the archival material.

Kevo Stero (Kenya) and Otieno Gomba (Kenya) anchored their research on a specific object, the mask, building an immersive environment of film, installation and painting that re-imagines traditional notions of the mask.

Thenjiwe Nki Nkosi and Pamela Sunstrum from Johannesburg (South Africa) took a form as their starting point, writing and developing an Anti-Opera, ‘Disrupters, this is Disrupter X’, to re-narrate and inscribe a new story on a studied selection of archival film, objects, and artworks.

The Angolan-born artist Delio Jasse‘s point of departure was a technique, using a specific form of analog photomontage to develop unique ‘documents’, composited of fragments of information he found by scouring the immense Ulli Beier archive.

Uche Uzorka from Lagos (Nigeria) started with a position; that the openness of archive is deceptive and that it refuses more than it allows. The artist obsessively shredded archival documents during his residency and created artworks from the shredded material. Whereas his graphics formally take reference to artworks of the Nigerian Nsukka-School, that are part of the collection at Iwalewahaus.

Alongside the visual artist residencies, two musicians were also invited to respond to the music archive of Iwalewahaus. DJ Raph from Kenya and the Angolan-born Batida remixed and reworked the traditional dance music of the archives. Their remixes will be played at the opening party on the 30th of May.

Further to the artworks generated during the artist residencies, ‘Mashup’ also presents the artist book ‘An archaeology of Loss’ by Sam Hopkins and Simon Rittmeier (Germany) which explores the idea of an empty archive.

Finally, Iwalewahaus presents the newly developed, intuitive and accessible digital archive interface, developed in the context of the Mashup the Archive project by the Nairobi-based digital solution company ‘Circle Digital’.

The exhibition will be accompanied by two roundtables. ‘Aura: The Object in Postcolonial Art collections’ and ‘Mashup as Defiance: Culture, Appropriation and Postcolonialism’.


Curator: Sam Hopkins

Project Management: Ulf Vierke, Nadine Siegert

Participating Artists: Batida, Otieno Gomba and Kevo Stero (Maasai Mbili), Délio Jasse, Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, DJ Raph, Simon Rittmeier, Uche Uzorka