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Critical Practices Inc. (CPI)

Mel Chin, The Cabinet of Craving, 2012. White oak, antique English bone ware (circa 1843), footed silver tray, steel, pigmented dye, shellac, 9 × 14 × 14 feet. Collection of the artist. Photograph by Susan Bowman

Mel Chin, The Cabinet of Craving, 2012. White oak, antique English bone ware (circa 1843), footed silver tray, steel, pigmented dye, shellac, 9 × 14 × 14 feet. Collection of the artist. Photograph by Susan Bowman

On View

Museum Shop

Work by Critical Practices, Inc. is on view in the Museum shop.

Founded in 2010
based in New York, NY

Statement from Critical Practices Inc.: Critical Practices Inc. was founded in 2010 to support emerging and innovative forms of discourse that do not fit comfortably into institutional frameworks. The New York City–based corporation’s program includes informal viewings of art works (21STProjects); roundtable discussions on cultural issues (LaTableRonde); a broadsheet, LEF(t) Publications, produced four times a year; and a series of durational events such as screenings and performances (HOMEENTERTAINMENT). All CPI live programming and artist viewings take place in a domestic setting.

CPI’s contribution to the Whitney Biennial (WB) is in keeping with the corporation's mission to provide an alternative to the conventional ways that art is discussed and presented. CPI’s inclusion in the WB reinforces the widening sphere of critical discourse. Over the course of the Biennial, CPI is organizing three offsite roundtable discussions—accessible only by invitation—and publishing three 2014 Whitney Biennial Special Edition issues of LEF(t), which are available for free.

The intentionally unmoderated roundtable discussions of 30 participants each will tackle broad but thought-provoking topics. A “prompter,” whose sole role is to provide an opening statement, will initiate these lively exchanges. This allows for unpredictable and freeform conversation, which is guided by "The Rules Of The Game" (see CPI artist page in the 2014 WB Catalogue). The roundtable sessions are closed because CPI has found that when an audience is present the conversation becomes self-conscious, and restricted, and therefore participants are never asked to identify themselves. CPI holds to the principle that what is said is more important than who says it. Similarly, the record of these proceedings are available only to the participants and are not posted, or streamed.

CPI’s LaTableRonde (LTR)

CPI’s LaTableRonde (LTR) are un-moderated by invitation only, 90-minute roundtable discussions held off-site at a loft on West 21 Street, NYC. These forums focus on contemporary cultural and social issues prompted by materials supplied by an invited prompter and providing 30 participants with the opportunity to informally exchange their views in a non-institutional setting. Audio recordings and transcriptions are made available to the participants and will not be posted to any website. 

LEF(t) Publications’ Whitney Biennial
Special Editions

LEF(t) Publications produces LEF(t) Standard Edition (SE), Special Editions (Sp.E), and un-Limited as well as some merchandise such as buttons, and collectables. LEF(t) Standard Edition is a 22” x 28” broadsheet publication in an edition of 2000 copies, published four times a year. Each issue consists of 3 projects by writers and one full side visual project. Bundles of 100 copies of each issue will be sent out to 15 Distributors around the world to be left at a site of their choice and free for the taking. The list of sites and distributors are not fixed. Therefore, all issues published will not necessarily be available at any one location. LEF(t) WB Special Edition’s stand is located in the Whitney Museum bookstore, allowing free access to the publication. An additional 400 copies will be distributed in quantities of 100 at locations in the other boroughs. The publication dates, table of contents, bios of the participants, and distribution sites will be announced via Twitter and Facebook.