Ritual Haircut, bronze, metal, gilded bronze, 2016, 100 × 50 × 50 cm
Tomasz Górnicki’s sculpture describes something personal and intimate, yet also creates a social space. The artist portrays family members while immortalising moments of more profound significance. Ritually cutting his son’s hair is an instant which emphasises the relentless passing of time, as well as a rite of passage in which an individual is subjected to various tensions and social games related to symbolic power. Like the passage of time, there is no escape from society. However, by returning to the Slavic patriarchal, traditional theme of the son in his father’s care, Górnicki’s work captures something else. Even though social rituals deprive us of our innocence and autonomy, their intense intimacy makes us consider just how much personal things such as desires, intuition and sensations can also alter and influence the collective, social order.
Tomasz Górnicki (b. 1986, Warsaw) – sculptor, In 2010 graduated with honours from Sculpture Department at Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw in the studio of professor Janusz Antonii Pastwa. Lives with his wife and son in the countryside. Laureate of The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage Scholarship in 2009.