Uurga Shig (2017)
Two-channel digital video with sound, specially formatted for single-channel desktop viewing.
Uurga Shig documents the worldview of another stick.
For the Land Art Mongolia Biennial (2014) Hermione Spriggs co-habited with a pole lasso called the ‘uurga’. She attempted the impossible task of becoming this lasso, which is used by herdsmen to reign in wild horses on the Mongolian Steppe and to communicate with the horses they are riding.
The uurga lasso also extends further into human language and practices of fortune – for instance to be uurga-shig (literally “lasso-like” in Mongolian) refers to the practice of a man chasing a woman into marriage. The resulting work teases and inverts the assumptions of permanence associated with Western land art, and reflects upon the artist’s primary association with the lasso that is native to the Adobe Photoshop toolbar.
Presented as a two-channel video captured from the point of view of both the rider and the horse at once, here the viewer is invited to step into the space of the lasso, negotiating between the perspectives of human and animal.
The text “Urga Shig: What is it like to be a lasso?”, published in the Journal of Material Culture, presents a detailed account of this project. With thanks to Rebecca Empson."
Hermione Spriggs is an artist, researcher and exhibition-maker exploring practical methods for perspective-exchange. 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 currently undertaking practice-based PhD research at UCL based between the Department of Anthropology and Slade School of Art, and is curator and contributing editor for the exhibition and publication project "Five Heads: Art, Anthropology and Mongol Futurism" (UCL Department of Anthropology/ Sternberg Press). In 2013 she took part in the 3rd Land Art Mongolia Biennial.