Riar Rizaldi (Indonesia-Hong Kong)
Riar Rizaldi (b. 1990, Bandung, Indonesia) works as an artist and amateur researcher currently based in Hong Kong. His main focus is on the relationship between capital and technology, extractivism, and theoretical fiction.
Riar has also curated ARKIPEL Jakarta International Documentary & Experimental Film Festival — Penal Colony (2017), Internet of (No)Things (2018) at Jogja National Museum and co-curated Open Possibilities: ‘There is not only one neat way to imagine our future’ at JCC, Singapore & NTT ICC, Tokyo (2019-2020).
His works have been shown at Locarno Film Festival, BFI Southbank London, International Film Festival Rotterdam, NTT InterCommunication Center Tokyo, Centre Pompidou Paris, Times Museum Guangzhou, and National Gallery of Indonesia amongst others.
Becquerel is a multi-layered portrait of the fictional lazy-philosopher character Sajad Ali who lives in the future world of Indonesia, where the development of nuclear science and technology reaches the point of successfully creating an artificial sun; leading to barely any difference between day and night. The story of Sajad Ali, told by Riar in the style of science fiction with a semi-essay approach, reflects the dynamics of nuclear technology in the Pacific Islands, the politics of materiality through the search for minerals such as thorium in Indonesia, as well as the complexity of the nuclear issue and its relevant tension with ecological issues, climate change, energy, and productivity.
Projected on a screen made of processed wood and chairs with military stripes, with a cheerful yet humorous irony, the video of Becquerel describes the current situation and possibilities of nuclear technology as well as the political dynamics underneath, especially in the southern hemisphere.