Atif Siddiqi

Video Artist, Documentarist, Performance artist
Lives in
Montreal;Los Angeles

Video artist, documentarist, performance artist. Karachi-bred, Los Angeles-inflected, Concordia-trained Siddiqi is a artist whose film, videos and performances could not easily be separated from his public/private transdisciplinary, transcultural, trans(ultra-?)gendered persona. His first major video, based on early performance work, Erotic Exotic (1998), used poetry, song, dance and costume to develop a personal outsider erotics within both South Asian and Montreal urban contexts. M! Mom, Madonna and Me (2001) offered to worldwide festival audiences a loose narrative line based on Siddiqi’s semi-autobiographical performance as a transglobal artist in search of love (from both Mother and several on-the-road hunks), artistic fulfilment, and stardom. For Solo (2003), Siddiqi had his first chance at a “professional” budget and resources, thanks to the National Film Board’s “Reel Diversity” competition, and produced once more an autobiographical narrative (See Chapters 5 and 10). Here he wove together memories of childhood trauma brought out in onscreen therapy sessions, familial encounters and confrontations, fantasy interludes from underwater ballet to eyelash extravaganzas, and even improvised efforts at on-camera dating. Canadian queer cinemas have sheltered many artists for whom life itself is a work of art, but Siddiqi may well be one of the most risk-taking, focused and unique.