Exhibitions - Glorious Wound

Gabo Camnitzer
Glorious Wound

10.02.21 – 02.13.22

Year of Uncertainty (YoU)

On the left side, there is a large projected still from Gabo Camnitzer’s film, a Picture-in-Picture view of archival classroom materials and blueprints. In the background to the right of the projection, a stack of blue and white posters are on the floor. To the right of the posters, facing the projection, are nine small public school chairs in different colors and materials. Behind the chairs is a large wall text of the exhibit, and to the right is an empty doorway emanating bright green light.

Image: Installation view, "Gabo Camnitzer: Glorious Wound", Queens Museum. Photo credit: Hai Zhang.

Year of Uncertainty Artist-In-Residence, Gabo Camnitzer, presents Glorious Wound, a multi-component installation that focuses on the past, present and future of childhood, analyzing and experimenting with the structures and ideas that shape it. This presentation takes its title from French communist educator and theorist, Célestin Freinet (1896-1966), who suffered a lung injury during World War I. This “glorious wound,” as Freinet called it, had a profound effect on his teaching methods. No longer able to project his voice to his pupils, he decided to transform his approach to emphasize the emancipatory potential of collective creativity. He removed the rows of chairs and desks, and installed a printing press as the focal point of his elementary school classroom. With this, Freinet reshaped the relationship between student and classroom, and between classroom and world. He supported his students in researching and documenting their communities, committing the lived experiences and materials conditions of neighbors to print.


Inspired by Freinet’s resourcefulness, Camnitzer presents a body of research that takes our current moment as an opportunity to reimagine systems of education. Glorious Wound revolves around the contradictions of institutional education, and the ways the COVID-19 era has laid bare crises within it. With a series of interlocking projects spanning video, sculpture, printed material, workshops, and activism, the artist seizes uncertainty to actualize practices and modes of analysis that could serve as the basis for a more just education system.


Gabo Camnitzer is an interdisciplinary artist and educator. He received his MFA from Valand Academy, Gothenburg, Sweden and attended the Whitney Independent Study Program. Combining strategies of experimental pedagogy and participatory installation, Camnitzer’s work focuses on childhood as a site of ideological and material struggle. His work has been exhibited at venues such as Queens Museum, Queens, NY; GfZK, Leipzig; Artists Space, New York, NY; Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden and others. Camnitzer is Director of Foundations and Assistant Professor of Social Practice at UMass Dartmouth. He has held teaching positions at The Neighborhood Elementary School (PS 363), New York; Columbia University, New York; and Valand Academy, Gothenburg, Sweden. Camnitzer lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.



The Year of Uncertainty artist residencies and community partnerships are made possible by generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Lambent Foundation, and the Jerome Foundation.


Major funding for the Queens Museum is generously provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.