Yugen, Martha Fiennes' latest creative project, to be presented in Venice

Yugen, refers to a concept in Japanese aesthetics which alludes to a deep awareness of the universe. Yugen is also the title chosen by Martha Fiennes, artist and director, for her latest creative project: a moving image artwork which combines Fiennes’ considerable knowledge of filmmaking and cutting edge generative coding technology.

In Yugen, Salma Hayek is Fiennes’ muse and inspiration. It is she who dominates the screen. The project has been produced by Tendercapital, a company created by Moreno Zani in the firm conviction that the combination of talent, integrity and innovation can make the difference with respect to the world of traditional finance. Moreno Zani explains that “Art and technology have been in constant dialogue since ancient times: Yugen, a combination of coding, CGI and film, is a further step in the exploration of this relationship, which opens up new visions for both fronts.

Moreno Zani was drawn to Fiennes’ innovative vision and her radical new medium of art which he describes as “a pioneering piece of work; on the one hand it looks to the future with the mechanisms of artificial intelligence, on the other the fascination and the emotional charge typical of pictorial forms of art. This is an absolutely innovative combination which contributes to the dialogue between technology and art, increasingly topical and intriguing.” The project has been developed with the creative consultancy of Beatrice Panerai.

Martha Fiennes, award-winning film-director Onegin (1999) and Chromophobia (2007) brings to her art a substantial experience of film directing and cutting-edge post production technologies. With her production team, headed by Peter Muggleston, Fiennes combines intricate coded algorithms to create majestic moving images which perpetually self- generate in a continuous and non-predictable cycle. This radical new medium is branded as SLOimage and was developed by Martha and Pete Muggleston in her debut work Nativity, 2011.

Fiennes explains that these surreal moving image artworks are neither “film” nor “video art”. They offer an experience which is closer to that of encountering a painting or still work of art, whereby the viewer chooses how long they wish to spend with it. Unlike traditional film, there is no fixed narrative or prescribed length. As the work is ever-evolving, Fiennes maintains that “the point at which you first see it, is the perfect time for you”.

The partnership between Martha Fiennes and Tendercapital has been invaluable in providing the support to develop this highly complex artwork; ‘The innovative vision and support of Tendercapital has been hugely inspiring’ says Fiennes.

In Yugen, Fiennes strives to stimulate a range of visual ideas that evoke the principle of alternate dimensions of influenceupon our experience of reality; “I have always been drawn to the idea of extended levels of consciousness – whether reflected in the imagination, in dreams, archetypes, psychoactive plant medicines, Out of Body Experience, Near Death Experiences or in the vast reservoir of human creative expression that has preceded us”.

In this moving image artwork, Salma Hayek is immortalised to become an ever-evolving archetype or emanation “a kind of high priestess shaman” who dominates a world of expanded realities, whilst inhabiting dramatic fictional landscapes and dynamic, majestic fractal environments. The viewer ‘travels’ between these varying spaces, at the behest of arbitrary decisions driven by the coding technology within this groundbreaking media.

Fiennes explains that Salma’s role has been intrinsic to the work. ‘Salma is both the muse and source of inspiration, capable of effortlessly entering the character. She works with superlative expertise, instinct, creativity … and sense of humour!”

The rich tones of Yugen, are a recurrent theme in Martha Fiennes’ cinema, and fully serve the often mystic quality of the vision. With its majestic pace and evocative visual language amplified by the hypnotic power of Magnus Fiennes’ music, the viewer is invited to free the mind and expand their consciousness.

The project can be seen on 2nd and 3rd September at the Teatrino di Palazzo Grassi (free entrance), partner of the project.

Yugen is a TenderToArt and SLOimage project, developed in collaboration with Palazzo Grassi – Punta della Dogana.