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Without a Cause (Tomas)
BY
Conny Karlsson Lundgren

“The first blow strikes. The belt screams and I cry out.”

Stewart Stern, one of the screenwriters of Rebel Without a Cause (Nicholas Ray, 1955), describes that the intention behind the film was to show, “… that underneath all the bullshit macho defense, there was that pure drive for affection, and it didn’t matter who the recipient might be.”

The work Without a Cause (Tomas), a collaboration between visual artist Conny Karlsson Lundgren and journalist and activist Tomas Hemstad, explores how representations of masculinity, desires, and power structures are defined and transpire in intimate social space. Using the ambiguous erotic undertone of Rebel Without a Cause as a point of departure, the duo rewrite and reimagine parts of the original script, embedding the words into a contemporary dialogue.

With allusions to the film’s fictional characters and Hemstad’s personal experiences, along with imagery based on the film’s clothing and soundtrack, the work introduces various realities born from erotic encounters and community, violent intimacy and touches of desire, consent and mutual trust.

Keywords LGBTQ, Characters, Body
Aspect ratio 1,78:1 (16:9)
Prod. format Generic HD-video
Duration 00:10:50
Language Swedish
Color Color
Year 2010
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About the artist

Conny Karlsson Lundgren

Conny Karlsson Lundgren (b. Västervik) is a visual artist based in Stockholm and Hoby Mosse, Sweden.

With the help of film, text, image, and archival documents, his work traverses the boundaries between social, political, and private identities. Turning to interdisciplinary methods, alternative realities and social agreements are reimagined through experiences, contrapositions, desires, and secret codes. The ephemeral, accidental traces and moments that challenge existing narratives are a reoccurring fascination, with attention to the archive as both carrier of information and a mechanism of control. Karlsson Lundgren holds an MFA from Valand Academy of Fine Arts in Gothenburg, Sweden and participated in the Studio Research Program at Van Eyck Academie in Maastricht, The Netherlands (2014–2015). In recent years his work has been exhibited at Moderna Museet Malmö, Extra City Kunsthal Antwerp, Gothenburg Art Museum, Kunsthal Nikolaj Copenhagen, with solo presentations at Neue Galerie Innsbruck, Haninge Konsthall, and Kalmar Art Museum (both Sweden). Karlsson Lundgren is the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s International Program (IASPIS) studio grant holder at ISCP in New York City for 2020–2021.

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