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What might a painting by legendary Soho soak Francis Bacon taste of? Champagne? Fag ash? The gutter? According to creative agency Flying Object, the answer is chocolate. You’ll be able to scoff some while enjoying Bacon’s ‘Figure in a Landscape’ (1945) as part of ‘Tate Sensorium’, a month-long multisensory display at Tate Britain which opens this week.
Flying Object (beards, specs, based in Clerkenwell) won the IK Prize, an annual award for an idea that uses new technology to help visitors engage with British art in the collection. Over the past six months, they’ve worked with perfumiers, an audio engineer, a chocolatier and a team of scientists to build installations around four of the Tate’s twentieth-century masterpieces.
The aim is to trigger responses while learning about how we understand the world. In addition to the taste of Bacon, you’ll experience the sensation of sound bouncing off your skin while admiring a spray painting by John Latham, smell a trio of scents while looking at a wry Richard Hamilton collage and get an earful of percussion while taking in a cubism-inspired canvas by David Bomberg. And it doesn’t end there. You’ll also have the opportunity to track your responses by wearing a biometric wristband that monitors how much each experience makes you sweat, revealing how calm or excited you are. Tom Pursey, Peter Law and Tim Partridge from Flying Object talk us through their ideas for what has to be the most stimulating show in town.
'Tate Sensorium' is at Tate Britain from Wednesday August 26 - Sunday September 20 2015.