Volker Gerling is a filmmaker, but not in the traditional sense. He makes short photographic movies which he prints out as flip books. Gerling also has a passion for walking incredibly long distances. He goes on long saunters throughout Germany and during his travels he creates flip book portraits about the people he meets. Portraits in Motion is a show about these flip books and the interesting and diverse people Gerling meets on his travels. It is also a show about a love of art, stories, travel and human emotions. Gerling covers a lot of ground during the 75 minute performance, but he is a skilled storytelling with a bright and warm personality, so the audience is in good hands.
The performance takes place in the Anatomy Lecture Theatre in Summerhall. This educational setting is appropriate as Portraits in Motion takes on the format of an a compelling lecture from an artist with a unique and original project. Gerling talks eloquently about his flip books, the moving image and his love of meeting new people. Volker Gerling is a curious person and this is expressed in his desire to walk. He clearly wants to experience life and this theme is the basis of his story and the performance.
During Portraits in Motion Gerling stands behind a small wooden table. On top of this table is a video camera, microphone and a series of flip books. The camera records the flip books as the performer holds them up to the lens and makes the pictures move. The flip books are then projected on to a large screen towards the back of the stage. The books look small on the table, but projected, the faces on the miniature books look large, expressive and emotive. This technique works perfectly and highlights the emotion of Gerling’s flip books and shows that Portraits in Motion is an interesting and original performance. Portraits in Motion will draw you in if you are an art lover, or if you just enjoy watching and listening to interesting stories.