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Video still from Wrong Adventures, 1984

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WRONG ADVENTURES is the saga of a man who recounts to his psychoanalyst stories of his troubled relationships with various people, any of whom could be imaginary. During Bud's sessions, the analyst sits behind a two-way mirror and never speaks. On a walk at the edge of the jungle, he encounters a lost astronaut who he becomes convinced is the ghost of his father. The astronaut tells him of his childhood dog, Queenie. After wounding a stranger hidden in his mother's bedroom closet, Bud is committed to an institution for the criminally insane. There he is put to work making clothes hangers and treated until he is no longer deemed a threat to society.


"I memorized the Act III, Scene I soliloquy from Hamlet in 1983 and was looking for an chance to use it in a video. The Capp Street Project in San Francisco invited me to do a residency beginning in January 1984. In addition to Hamlet themes, I brought along other unrelated story fragments, such as one about a narcoleptic and an astronaut, and also made use of visual aspects of the film Vertigo, which was shot in San Francisco and reissued in theaters while I was there."

Charlesworth shot scenes of himself cruising San Francisco in a convertible, and placed his camera on the spot where Hitchcock filmed beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Other exteriors were shot on the golf course near the Legion of Honor and in the botanical gardens at Golden Gate Park. Indoor scenes were filmed in the installation built by the artist during his residency at the Capp Street Project. As with Charlesworth's previous video works, Wrong Adventures is stylized in appearance and has a small volunteer cast.

Script, Direction, Camera: Bruce Charlesworth

Editing Assistance: McCune Studios, San Francisco

Production Assistance: Scott Mertens, Tom Ruth


CAST: Bruce Charlesworth (Bud), Bill Carlson (Dr. Vent), Scott Mertens (Astronaut), Renée Bott (Mother), Ann Hatch (Answering Machine Voice)


1984, 3/4-inch video, 20 minutes

See the related installation
Copyright © Bruce Charlesworth

Copyright © Bruce Charlesworth

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