The concept of eating gold leaf first became important to Marina Abramovic when she was given a golden ball to eat at a Tibetan monastery.
This practice originated in the 6th century, and is believed to help achieve a clear state of mind. Traditional Indian, Indonesian, and Chinese practices prescribe a mixture of gold leaf and honey to infants to stimulate their memory, and golden halos adorn Orthodox Christian icons. Gold has historically significant spiritual value due to its precious and rare nature.
For centuries women were limited to words as their only weapon, and lips remind us of the dichotomy between the power of speech and the sensuality of the mouth. Abramovic explores the symbolism of golden lips and the ritualization of the act of eating dessert in her first demonstration of the Abramovic Experiment done with Kreëmart in 2009, and again in 2010 at the conclusion of her retrospective at MoMa in New York.