Ecce Homo

Mass and Individual Moving



After a discussion with a chemist, the idea for Ecce Homo is born – a torso weighing about 70 kg, composed of an amalgam of chemical components. Some members of MAIM, including Pierre Gonay and Barbara Hahn, under the direction of the chemist, solemnly mix the substances that make up the human body. The ritual takes place in a transparent plastic tent, inflated by the air of a fan.

The first concrete realisation of this project takes place in Brussels on Thursday, 9 July 1979, between 2 and 8 p.m. The first creature of the Ecce Homo family bears the name of its birthplace and is christened Homo Bruxellensis MCM LXX IX. Passers-by can leave a drop of blood in a book made of handmade paper, the so-called 'cellenboek' or book of cells. All documents of the Ecce Homo project are translated into Latin by a Latinist friend.

Later on, Homo Stuttgartiensis MCM LXX IX (Stuttgart, 1979) and Homo Turnholtanus MCM LXX IX (Turnhout, 1981) emerge. In Turnhout, 12 people who sign the book of cells are also photographed with their drawn tarot card. Because of its sacral character, Ecce Homo provokes many reactions from the public. A fundamentalist Christian group accuses MAIM of wanting to take the place of God.

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