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Portraits in Motion

JAN 24 – 26, 2017

8 PM

York Theatre

Back by popular demand!
Flipbook Cinema by and with Volker Gerling
Presented with the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival

Post-show talkback: Jan 25
Running time: 65 minutes, no intermission
Special Presentation. Not valid for Cultch subscriptions.

The flipbook is now a curio to most of us, but for Volker Gerling it’s something much more profound: a mode of moving image that captures the human presence in stillness as much as motion. Gerling embraces the traditions of the magic lantern and the drawing room raconteur. His works are rapidly taken still shots of people, arranged in order to move as they’re flipped through. Onstage, he shows us a collection of his favourite portraits, projected live onto a large screen. All the while the artist charmingly recounts the stories behind the moving image. Gerling’s art provides an incandescent, flickering glimpse of human persona and essence.

At once a photographer and an animator, Gerling uses the flipbook to show us intimacy in motion. Each captured moment is a tale: the beginning and end of a smile, an awkward embrace, glimpses of a long-time love affair. They’re vivid and poignant— large-scale tributes to small-scale beauty. In the end, what the artist gives us is something truly special: instances frozen in time and then brought back to life. It’s a spectacle that invites laughter, bittersweet recognition, sadness and even awe.

Volker Gerling discovered his love for photographic flipbooks while engaged in academic film studies. Since then he has walked over 3,500 miles of Germany, showing his “thumb cinema” to people and gathering new portraits for it. Portraits in Motion has toured internationally, including a previous presentation at the 2011 PuSh Festival, to great acclaim.

It’s spellbinding…you’ve never seen a show like this” – Janet Smith, The Georgia Straight

With a sophistication born of kindness, Portraits in Motion is artifice-free theatre/cinema/performance art that makes us feel glad to be human.” – Paul Durras, vancouverplays

Artistic miniatures full of life and emotion – a poetic sensation” – Augsburger Zeitung

In Volker Gerling’s tiny flipbooks, great things emerge from small candid portraits of strangers that offer fascinating glimpses into the human soul” – Broadway Baby

Uniquely heart-warming” – The Times

Art could not be quieter, simpler or more beautiful” – Tagesanzeiger Zurich

Sponsors and Funders:
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