Arena Quad I + II (1980) Videotape, colour, sound, 15 min
A minimalist experimental television drama that is both relentlessly logical and absurd.
A towering figure in twentieth-century theatre and literature, Samuel Beckett also wrote specifically for film and television. Beckett's rejection of naturalism and his formal investigations into how language constructs identity were key influences in the development of avant-garde performance and video art.
Arena Quad I & II is one of several pieces Beckett wrote and directed for German television. Shot with a single fixed camera, four hooded figures move in a pre-determined pattern, accompanied by percussion. The geometric precision of the choreography is both compellingly logical and absurd.