Cherry Nin and Rat Porridge: Question Everything Bitch

15 February – 14 March 2021

Marginal Utility is happy to open the space to Cherry Nin and Rat Porridge as the second round participants in the 319 2nd flr. Residency Program. While in residence at the gallery, Nin and Porridge will use the space as an editing studio for their forthcoming video project, Question Everything Bitch, which will be completed in March 2021.

Question Everything Bitch is an experimental film arising from a compulsion to create expansive indoor fantasy out of isolated dystopia, and meaning out of deep dread—a project that utilizes video to push up against the boundaries of the real and the mundane. The film centers around Maggot and Dirt, fictionalized versions of the filmmakers and their relationship. After discovering a door to the underworld, Maggot encounters a realm of queer freaks and experimental artists. There she meets Dirt, a longtime resident of the underworld. Together, Maggot and Dirt struggle to decide whether to remain underground where they feel a sense of belonging, or return to the surface to work in service of others.

Through a disbanding of traditional cinematic storytelling emerges a fragmented non-linear narrative constructed from scripted scenes, voiceover narration paired with movement sequences, and collaged home footage. Time and location are traversed in a poetic web, spun together via fast cuts, rhythmic editing, and interwoven dialogue composed of real conversations between the filmmakers and cut-ups sourced from books, social media, and internet publications. Points of view are rapidly switched between, dislocating characters and

Drawing from industrial and punk aesthetics, the world’s fabrication reflects the authentic shape and feel of the filmmaker’s art world. Backyards, bedrooms, and basements are heightened, made hyper-real through sets made from salvaged materials. Everyday items and
spaces are enlisted as portals to escape and play. By participating, the audience is included in this act, and together, artist and audience propell the underground, the unseen, into existence. Fact and fiction are blurred, as the reliability of reality is punctured. Amongst it all, there is a pulsing sense of clarity arising from muddled confusion, a way of existing being carved out, formed, pushed forward.

Cherry Nin & Rat Porridge’s video and performance projects have exhibited at Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Somewhereelse Gallery, Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, Spectacle Theatre, and The Multivrs Festival, as well as DIY spaces across Philadelphia. Nin and Porridge are the founders of Krissy Talking Pictures, a collectively run video art label in Philadelphia that creates space for queer artists without access to mainstream institutions. Nin is a recipient of the 2020 Leeway Art & Change Grant and a past artist in residence at Outpost Artist Resources in Queens, NY.

Krissy Talking Pictures is a video art organization and an alternative to art institutions that showcases the work of queer artists in Philadelphia. Founded by Cherry Nin in 2019, KTP became a collective with four members in May 2020. Since the start of the pandemic, Cherry Nin, Rat Porridge, Oona Taper, and Florence Fire have continued to create space for video watching and sharing through the creation of a virtual gallery space and online hub, They are currently in the midst of hosting four months of
exhibitions on the Krissy website, a project that is made possible with support from the Leeway Foundation’s Art & Change Grant.