For Sophie Cundale's first major solo exhibition she will exhibit a newly commissioned work The Near Room, a supernatural melodrama about loss that follows the journey of a professional boxer after a near-fatal knockout. The boxer’s disorientations become entangled with the story of a queen living with Cotard Delusion, a rare neurological condition inducing the belief in and sensation of death. The film’s title 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.'* Cast includes professional boxer John Harding Jnr, artist Penny Goring and actor Chris New.
*George Plimpton on Muhammad Ali in Shadow Box (1977)
The Near Room (2020) by Sophie Cundale is commissioned and produced by Film and Video Umbrella with support from Arts Council England, South London Gallery, Bonington Gallery, Curator Space and The Gane Trust.