Always longed to lick a Lichtenstein or bite a Bacon? Well, you could be in luck. Kind of

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Image: New exhibition will let you taste paintings at the Tate

Photo: © Tate

David Bomberg, The Mud Bath 1914 

Now, it might not be exactly what you’re thinking. You can’t start licking random masterpieces whenever you fancy, but a new exhibition at Tate Britain wants to change the way we interact with art and the curators think they can do it through taste.

 

Tate Sensorium, which opens in autumn 2015, will use interactive technology to let visitors experiment with how the sense of taste and smell can change the way we view art.

 

Creative agency Flying Object, who are launching the display, told Quartz that the inspiration for the exhibit came from the idea that none of our senses work in isolation.

 

While this all sounds very Willy Wonka, there are some studies to back up the idea: in 2008 researchers found that sounds and colours can influence the taste of food, while it was also claimed that eating food from a heavy bowl makes it taste richer, fattier and more expensive.

 

So what exactly will you be tasting at the gallery? Well, the foods associated with Hogarth’s O, the Roast Beef of Old England and Sir Nathaniel Bacon's Cookmaid with Still Life of Vegetables and Fruit for a start.
 

While they’re remaining pretty tight-lipped about the rest of the exhibition details, one of the company’s founders Tom Purse said: “We can take an artwork and try to bring to life what’s actually depicted or we can acknowledge that artwork means different things to different people … to me, the smell of a car air freshener means taxis, but to other people it might mean holidays when they were a child.”

 

If this means we're allowed to chomp on a pizza while taking in some art and looking mighty sophisticated, we’re on board.