This 'practice-based' artistic research is very different to, but works in tandem with, the academic research of the Iwalewahaus. It offers new perspective, positions and insights into artworks in the archive which the academic community of the house can then reflect on, and make sense with, in their discourse. This combination of artistic and academic enquiry is an agile and current approach to the study and display of African Art today.
The contemporary approach is also manifested in the idea of displaying the new artworks not in the traditional exhibition context of the Iwalewahaus, but in 'mini-festivals' of 2-3 days which take place at the Schokofabrik, an alternative space on the outskirts of Bayreuth city. The project thus tries to create new physical and imaginary spaces to reach new audiences for Contemporary African Art.
Mashup the archive is a project of the Iwalewahaus in Bayreuth which is dedicated to activating and making visible the extensive archive of African art that the Iwalewahaus has collected over the last 30 years. Working with young, African-based, artists-in-residence and a series of mini-festivals, the intention is to explore and investigate the rich cultural heritage of the archive.
At the heart of the project is the idea that a key to making this archive both relevant and accessible is to open it up for artistic, as well as academic, research. The Iwalewahaus has an important collection of African art, ranging from Nigerian horror films on VHS, original music recording from concerts held in the house in 1980s to graphic work from internationally acclaimed artists such as the Nsukka group. The essence of the project is not merely to exhibit this, but to make it available for a young generation of African artists to develop new works from