‘The Artist as Producer in Times of Crisis’

If we look back historically collectives tend to emerge during periods of crisis; in moments of social upheaval and political uncertainty within society. Such crisis often forces reappraisals of conditions of production, re-evaluation of the nature of artistic work, and reconfiguration of the position of the artist in relation to economic, social, and political institutions.

‘The Artist as Producer in Times of Crisis’ by Okwui Enwezor, 2004

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Introduction

Network11 is a peer group of artists who are each grappling with contemporary art practice in an exciting array of forms including performance, sound and imagery – the UK is experiencing an interesting moment culturally, economically and politically. We feel that the recent difficulties as experienced by spaces such as Iniva and Richmix are problematic to the Art scene, particularly the current and next generation of artists whom will miss out on opportunities to engage with the pressing issues that the status quo have ignored. To a certain extent, our works relate to each other. And yet, we didn’t know each other’s work, we didn’t know of each other, as artists and peoples? It seems imperative to think through a model in which we can exchange ideas and compare notes, grow together and support each other, quite simply, a network that allows us to get to know each other. Beyond the moments of activity as echoed from art groups such as the Pan African Connection and the BLK Art Group in the 1970s/80s, we feel it is important to come together as a new generation of professionals that will not only tease new questions regarding the positions of British based artists of colour and LGBT communities, but also, to reignite relevant discussions brought about by older generations. Beginning in December of 2014, the group began and continues to meet on a regular basis to discuss new ideas surrounding contemporary art practice. Below is a list of the core members of Network11:

Larry Achiampong

Beverley Bennett

Junior Boakye Yiadom

Evan Ifekoya

Shepherd Manyika

Ima-Abasi Okon

Kamile Ofoeme

Nicola Thomas