Volker Gerling

Portraits in Motion

I began to show my flipbook movies in a stage show in 2005. The show is based on my experiences and encounters in what now amounts to nearly twelve months of walking. I leaf through the flipbooks under a video camera that projects the pictures onto a large screen. Flipbooks become flipbook cinema. While showing these flipbooks I tell the stories about the people I portray. I talk about the gaps between the pictures and about the virtues of traveling slowly. The show is a gentle and thoughtful reflection on the passing of time and what it means when people meet each other. I perform it regularly in theatres in Germany and abroad and at international art and theatre festivals. Every year I walk, so every year my show develops at the leisurely pace of a walker.

Here you see a trailer of Portraits in Motion.

You can see a list of coming shows here.


"An oddity and a revelation"
Financial Times

"These miniture stories rinse your eyes like spring water"
The Sunday Times

"His show is uniquely heart-warming"
The Times

“It takes just a few seconds for this show to begin to resonate profoundly. These portraits are so beautiful they make you want to cry. This should go on forever.”
Sächsische Zeitung

“Volker Gerling’s flipbook movie show has become a classic. It is a psychological imprint of the state of the nation over the last ten years. A rare highlight, memorable, completely without pretension, lovingly done.”
Theater der Zeit

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

“Gerling’s stories of chance encounters are grand and small, serious and comic. For a brief moment his protagonists come to life. With no fuss. Gerling invites us to fill the gaps between his pictures with the stories he tells about the people he portrays. This is a reflection on the momentary – an exceptional and highly recommendable show.”
Zitty Berlin

Tours and Shows since 2005 (selection):

Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015
(Total Theatre Award for 'Portraits in Motion')

Maifestspiele Wiesbaden

Push, Internationales Performing Arts Festival, Vancouver

Theaterspektakel, Zürich

Walser Herbst Festival, Großes Walsertal

Glogerfestspiele, Kongsberg

Luagna&Losna Theaterfestival, Feldkirch

Imaginale Figurentheaterfestival, Stuttgart und Schorndorf

Festival Panoptikum, Europäisch-Bayerischen Kindertheaterfestival, Nürnberg

FAST, International Contemporary Creation Festival, Terni

Internationales Figurentheaterfestival Erlangen

Eigenreich, Berlin

Theater o.N., Berlin

Theater Aufbau Kreuzberg (TAK)

Freie Volksbühne Berlin

Toihaus Theater Salzburg

Kasematten Theater Luxemburg

Internationales Figurentheaterfestival, Meppel

Montforthaus Feldkirch

Filmmuseum München

Filmuseum Frankfurt

Filmclub 813, Köln

Metropolis Kino, Hamburg

Brotbabrik, Bonn

Lichtspiel, Bern

Lichtspiel Bamberg

Societätstheater Dresden

Schaubudensommer Dresden

Staatstheater Hannover

Thik, Baden

Theater der Jungen Welt, Leipzig

Hessisches Landestheater Marburg

Greizer Theaterherbst

PAZZ-Festival, Staatstheater Oldenburg

Wunder der Prärie, Intern. Festival Mannheim

Plateaux, Neue Positionen intern. darstellender Kunst, Frankfurt/Main

Belluard Bollwerk International, Fribourg/Schweiz

Temps d’Image, Marne-la-Vallée

Depot, Staatstheater Stuttgart

Fraunhofer Theater, München

Theater Konstanz

Perspectives, Deutsch-Französisches Festival, Saarbrücken

Interfilm, Internationales Kurzfilmfestival, Berlin

34. Internatinaal Filmfestival van Vlaanderen/Almost Cinema, Ghent

Theater Minard, Ghent

Bukovina Centrum, Tschernowitz

Bayerisches Haus, Odessa

Deutsches Kulturinstitut Temeswar

Deutsches Kulturinstitut Klausenburg

Deutsches Kulturzentrum Iasi

Qendra Multimedia, Pristina

Kulturzentrum Tocka, Skopje

brut, Koproduktionshaus, Wien

Einstein Forum, Potsdam

Theater Kikker, Utrecht

On Y Danse Tout En Rond-Festival, Brüssel

Theater Frascati, Amsterdam