Wheels of Life
From Russia – via Glasgow – with love
This article is from 2008.
It’s hard to call Wheels of Life, the new production by Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre, a ‘play’ as such. Huddled in the intimate Theatre Workshop venue, the audience is confronted with a macabre toy box of intricate artistic contraptions; a captivating maze of spinning wheels and Singer sewing machines, all elegantly fashioned into the graceful yet terrifying gothic structures upon which their creator, Russian artist Eduard Bersudsky, has built his reputation.
Since the establishment of the Sharmanka Kinetic Gallery in Glasgow in 1996, Bersudsky has captivated Scotland with his unique moving sculptures (famous works include his much-lauded Millennium Clock at the Royal Museum in Edinburgh).
As an exhibition of both new and old works by Bersudsky, Wheels of Life is a fascinating and curiously moving piece. Miniscule figures, carved to the most intimate detail, are better observed with the binoculars handed out at the entrance, while the shadows cast against the walls by the delicate lighting are childlike yet darkly humorous. But there’s an inconsistency of emotion that jars, the sublime often turning too quickly to the crass. It’s this that prevents Wheels of Life from becoming what it almost is: an uplifting, operatic mechanical tribute to the complexity of existence.
Theatre Workshop, 226 5425, until Aug 25, times vary, £5 (£3).