The material of this sculpture poses a riddle. Is it stone, wood or terracotta? A vertical seam running along the centre reveals that it has been cast. Much less noticeable, however, is that the lion is made of chocolate, for after several decades it has lost its appetising appearance: maggot holes have changed the chocolate, as has the whitish coating, the so-called fat bloom. 'Self-Portrait as Lion' is not an everlasting work. The changes it is undergoing will ultimately end in decomposition, which actually runs contrary to the real task of this genre - namely to preserve for posterity the likeness of the person portrayed. Dieter Roth's artistic praxis was determined by the decay and transience of his works. His playfully ironic treatment of object and material was built on Dadaist principles.