LONDON.- The South London Gallery
is presenting the premiere of The Near Room (2020), a new film work by the artist Sophie Cundale (b.1987), whose video and performance works explore the extremity of psychological states. The Near Room is a supernatural melodrama about loss that follows the journey of a professional boxer after a near-fatal knockout. The boxers 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 films title is taken from the boxer Muhammad Alis description of a vivid, hallucinatory space he would enter when 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).
The boxing scenes were filmed at long established south London boxing club, Lynn AC in Camberwell. The 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.
ABBAS ZAHEDI: HOW TO MAKE A HOW FROM A WHY? Until 26 April 2020 Gallery 1, Fire Station Free
Following six months at the SLG as the ninth Postgraduate Artist in Residence, Abbas Zahedi presents an exhibition on the ground floor of the Fire Station. A newly-commissioned installation includes a sound work collaboration with musicians Saint Abdullah, enacting Zahedis interest in lamentation rites and other moments of literal and metaphysical exit.
In his ongoing practice, Zahedi creates social projects with collaborators and audiences, often involving spiritual rituals. He has worked with migrant and marginalised communities in the UK to explore the concept of neo-diaspora, and the ways in which personal and collective histories interweave. Zahedi completed an MA in contemporary art and philosophy at Central Saint Martins, London.
Abbas Zahedi (b. 1984, London) studied at Central Saint Martins and University College London. Recent exhibitions and performances include Whitechapel Gallery, London; Wolverhampton Art Gallery, UK; and 57th Venice Biennale, Italy. Recent workshops, lectures and residency projects include Raven Row, London; South London Gallery; Wysing Arts Centre, UK; Tate Britain and Tate Exchange, UK. Zahedi was awarded a School for Social Entrepreneurs (PwC) Fellowship in 2017 for his work with migrant communities in the UK.