New Subjectivities in Mongolian Futures

Tuguldur Yondonjamts, An Artificial Nest Captures A King (Videostill), 2016, Single channel video installation, 25:20 min, (f. Fantasy Can Not Invent Nothing New, Sculpture Center, 2016)

Join us for a conversation between Arts Catalyst’s artist in residence Tuguldur Yondonjamts, artist Hermione Spriggs, Professor Rebecca Empson and Dr Bumochir Dulam reflecting on the social and economic impacts of accelerated economic growth in Mongolia. 

How is capitalist accumulation defining the future of Mongolia, and how is it possible to re-think possible Mongolian futures through the invention of new rituals, practices and forms of life?
This talk aims to explore how the acceleration of Mongolia’s economic growth – mainly based on export and coal mining - is shaping its social and ecological patterns, while producing new subjectivities informed by the emerging economic potentials of the country.
As part of the evening, we will also be launching a new publication to accompany Five Heads, an exhibition running concurrently at Greengrassi Gallery until 15 September. Five Heads (Tavan Tolgoi): Art, Anthropology and Mongol Futurism (Sternberg Press, 2018) brings together the work of five anthropologists and five artists/collectives researching and responding to the dramatic rise and fall of Mongolia’s mineral economy. Featuring documentation of an art-anthropology exchange process alongside contributions by Simon O’ Sullivan, Uranchimeg Tsultem, Richard Irvine, Tsendpurev Tsegmid, Hermione Spriggs & Rebecca Empson. Edited by Hermione Spriggs.
Tickets are £3, booking essential.
Bumochir Dulam has conducted research on a wide range of topics including shamanic practices and the historical construction of “shamanism” in Mongolia and Inner Mongolia. More recently he has explored the way environmental conservation and global politics have reshaped mobile pastoralism in Mongolia and China. Prior to UCL, Bumochir worked for the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, National University of Mongolia, as Professor of Anthropology and Department Chair, lecturing and producing anthropology textbooks. He was also involved in leading projects funded by the Wenner Gren Foundation, Open Society Foundation, Asian Development Bank, American Asia Foundation, World Bank and Swiss Agency for Development and Corporation, allowing him to carry out fieldwork in Mongolia, North China and Kyrgyzstan.
Rebecca Empson is Professor of Anthropology at UCL. She is currently immersed in a large EU-funded project exploring the way people experience and live through economic crisis in Mongolia, involving a diverse research group, and different kinds of outputs. She has worked on issues pertaining to the country of Mongolia for 20 years, including  Mongolian futurism, kinship and relatedness, and ideas about the exchange of resources across bodily and territorial borders. Most recently she ran a workshop on the role of temporary possession in the global economy and is writing a book about five Mongolian women. 
Hermione Spriggs is an independent artist and researcher exploring practical methods for perspective-exchange. Her collaborative project the Anthropology of Other Animals (“AoOA”) doggedly attempts to elicit extraordinary effects from unpromising materials and explores the hidden links between “craft” and “being crafty.” Originally from northeast England, Spriggs holds an MFA in visual art from UC San Diego and is a fellow of Mildred’s Lane (PA, USA). She is curator and contributing editor for the exhibition and publication project "Five Heads: Art, Anthropology and Mongol Futurism" (based in the UCL Department of Anthropology) and in 2013 she took part in the 3rd Land Art Mongolia Biennial. She is soon to begin a PhD based at the Slade School of Art and UCL Department of Anthropology,  and has recently worked with East Side Projects in collaboration with Laura Cooper (Birmingham), the Royal Anthropological Institute (London), Titanik Galleria (Turku, Finland) and The Showroom (London).
Tuguldur Yondonjamts is a Mongolian artist who works with video, drawing and installation. His work is very much dependent on research and careful analysis of certain environments and materials, and it investigates physical and psychological space between tamed and untamed worlds. By using investigational logic, his videos and drawings are an outcome that comes from his travels, thinking about languages, distances and his continuous tries to communicate with the remote space. The nomadic culture of Central Asia is critical to interpreting Yondonjamts’s work. For him, these are symbolic endeavors, studying the issues affecting Mongolia’s society and economic development. Recent solo exhibitions include Hibernating Tattoos Guarding the Sweat of the Sun, Richard Taittinger gallery, NYC, (2017); and Between two giants, American Museum of Natural History, NYC, (2015).
The residency and exhibition is supported by Arts Council England and UCL Department of Anthropology's Tavan Tolgoi (Five Heads) project, which brings together the work of five anthropologists and five artists to respond to the dramatic rise and fall of Mongolia’s economy. Conversations and events will be co-organised between the two projects.