Without a Cause (Tomas)


HD video 11 mins, color/sound. Made in collaboration with Tomas Hemstad.
—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 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 writer 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 rewrote and reimagined 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 that emerge from erotic encounters and community, violent intimacy, and touches of desire, consent, and shared trust.

Without a Cause (Tomas), installation view, Gallery 54, 2010. Photo: Conny Karlsson Lundgren.
Without a Cause (Tomas), film still. Cinematography: Filip Lyman.
Without a Cause, excerpt 3 mins (full lengt 11 mins). Cinematography: Filip Lyman.
Rebel Without a Cause, Stewart Stern 1955, modified script,.

Text and Performer: Tomas Hemstad. Director and Editing: Conny Karlsson Lundgren. Cinematography: Filip Lyman. Grading and 1st Assistant Camera: Ulf Lundén. Sound: Jesper Norda. Music: Jesper Norda och Leonard Rosenman. Assistant: Malin Holgersson. Translation: Laura Crane Åkerblom.
Special Thanks: Kokokaka, Gothenburg City Cultural Support, Längmanska Foundation.Exhibitions: Gallery 54, Gothenburg SE. Gallery Knoth & Krüger/6th Berlin Biennale, Berlin DE. 
Screenings: Gegenart, Berlin DE. 
Gallery Bauchhund, Berlin DE.
FilmForm, Stockholm SE. Kulturhuset, Stockholm SE.

 ©MMXIV Conny Karlsson Lundgren