Sophie Cundale: The Near Room
6 Mar – 19 Apr 2020

Sophie Cundale, The Near Room, 2020 (film still). Courtesy the artist and FVU.

Artist Sophie Cundale presents a new film, a supernatural melodrama about loss that follows the journey of a professional boxer after a near-fatal knockout. The disorientations of the boxer are told in parallel with the story of a queen living with Cotard Delusion, a rare neurological condition inducing the belief and sensation of death.

The film’s title, The Near Room, is taken from Muhammad Ali’s description of a vivid, hallucinatory space he would enter in the depths of a fight:

“a door swung half open [into a room of] neon, orange and green lights blinking, bats blowing trumpets and alligators playing trombones, snakes screaming. Weird masks and actors’ clothes hung on the wall, and if he stepped across the sill and reached for them, he knew that he was committing himself to his own destruction.” 

George Plimpton, Shadow Box (1977)

Cast includes professional boxer John Harding Jnr, artist Penny Goring and actor Chris New.

Sophie Cundale (b. 1987) is an artist living and working in London. Previous work has been commissioned by Serpentine Galleries and the South London Gallery; screened at Temporary Gallery, Cologne, Spike Island, Bristol, Govett-Brewster Gallery, New Zealand, Catalyst Arts, AMINI festival, Belfast, VCD festival, Beijing and Innsbruck Biennale, Austria; and hosted on vdrome.org. The Near Room at the South London Gallery is her first major solo exhibition, and travels in December 2020 to Bonington Gallery, Nottingham.