Beyond The Road transforms a music album into an immersive exhibition. As it says on the tin, it really does offer audiences “a chance to lose themselves in a multi-sensory world led by sound”.
The music is by Unkle, a British DJ, who has dissected his album into stems and samples, and placed them around the Saatchi gallery in multiple rooms layered with videos and sets created by a variety of artists.
I was unfamiliar with Unkle, but the music lent itself well to being overlaid throughout the various spaces in the gallery. Designed by two members of Punchdrunk – Colin Nightingale and Stephen Dobbie – visitors walk seamlessly from one room to the next, poking their head into chapels with pools of water and light installations, watching fragments of Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, or lying flat on white beds hearing the various music samples around you bleed into each other.
Music comes not only out of speakers but from telephones, TV speakers and a phone box. Like much of Punchdrunk’s work, the aesthetic is slightly goth and glossy and I found it captivating. I traversed the full space twice, each time having a different experience due to my physical location in the space linking up differently with the musical “location” in the looping album.