Riar Rizaldi. A Phantom Ride of the Sunda Plate

2023 | Centre de la photographie Genève
Curated with Holly Roussell and Claus Gunti

Is capital the most primitive form of animism? The Centre de la photographie Genève presents the first institutionnal solo exhibition of Riar Rizaldi, emerging Indonesian artist and filmmaker. Rizaldi’s work forms narratives between fact and fiction, informed by the aesthetics of sci-fi cinema and contemporary visual culture to address the relationship between capital and technology from the perspective of the Global South. The four films selected for this exhibition, Kasiterit (2019), Tellurian Drama (2020), Becquerel (2021) and Pyroclasts Are Eloquent Storytellers (2022), give an introduction to Rizaldi’s unique and seductive universe — a cinematic experience mixing documentary with fictional elements to re-contextualising Indonesia within its often overlooked or understated position of global market significance and inviting us to meditate upon our relationships to the natural world. Each film is a short narrative, a theoretical fiction, drawing from the history and mythology of Indonesia, but quickly expanding in scope to reveal interactions and implications in the global world system. The work subtly critiques mentalities of “progress” for their resulting unsustainable and destructive loops of consumption. Rizaldi’s films position the scientific in the face of the magical – inviting us to contemplate timely social, political, and ecological issues — all while poetically suggesting the possibility of an alternative way of seeing.

Exhibition views by Annik Wetter