Yves Klein, Ritual for the Relinquishment of the Immaterial Pictorial Sensitivity Zones, (1957-1958)
Klein sought a way to evaluate his ‘immaterial pictorial sensitivity’ and decided that pure gold would be a fair exchange. He offered to sell it to any person willing to purchase such an extraordinary, if intangible, commodity, in exchange for gold leaf. Several ‘sales ceremonies’ were conducted: one took place on the banks of the River Seine on 10 February 1962. Gold leaf and a receipt changed hands between the artist and the purchaser. But since ‘immaterial sensitivity’ could be nothing but a spiritual quality, Klein insisted that all remains of the transaction be destroyed: he threw the gold leaf into the river and requested that the purchaser burn the receipt. There were seven purchasers in all.