Anita’s Eye on the Rodeo—Portraits in Motion—Volker Gerling—Theatre Junction GRAND
As I sank into the lovely (and Edinburgh Fringe Theatre award-winning) performance by Volker Gerling, I became increasingly immersed in the soft and gentle rhythms of his flipbooks and his stories of humanity. The low-tech, high impact performance took us on a walking journey with Gerling from Berlin, Germany, to Basel, Switzerland. As we watched the performance, we adopted his pace and took the time to look around a bit more closely.
On the way we gain insight into this soft spoken humanist and we learn the back stories of the characters he captured on black and white film. An old man on the outskirts of Berlin, a young woman on a bar stool who takes off her shirt, a family of four, an author during a walk on train tracks. His flipbooks are just that, a series of about 30 portraits taken rapid-fire over 12 seconds. All his subjects know is that he’s going to take their portrait. It’s remarkable what parts of the soul shine through during these 12-second encounters. Gerling’s flipbooks coax these shards of his subjects’ character, which he presents through a decidedly old school overhead projector, and accompanies them with brief meaningful stories that allow us to tap into a collective compassion. So simple, so beautiful.
Another gem that you don’t want to miss at the 2017 High Performance Rodeo. Playing at Theatre Junction Grand through Saturday.