The Francis Effect

08.09.2017 – 11.11.2017 / Wed – Sat 11:00 a.m. – 06:00 p.m.
Samson Gallery
450 Harrison Avenue &/@ 29 Thayer Street
Boston, MA, United States



alien, immigrant, expat, asylum seeker, refugee, undocumented, tourist, fugitive, exiled, homeless

All of the above are words used to describe people and situations related to the individuals who come to live in, travel throughout, or escape from, a country or condition. Every single artist in this exhibition has been one of the above. Despite their situational differences, all peoples navigating immigrancy hold a powerful position. This exhibition is additive. These works of thought will come and go as their creators. The exhibition will change. It will never be static.

The noun we assign to each differing situation has a distinct connotation and stigma attached; we see manifestations of these differing connotations in legislation, in travel bans, in fetishized radical fantasies of revolution, and in the selection of words themselves (e.g. the use of ‘expat’ mostly for people of European descent and ‘immigrant’ for people of color).

…invaluable and threatening to the new leaders in the U.S. Not only are immigrants among America’s most defenseless residents—making them the easiest to scapegoat—they also bear inconvenient witness by their very presence to a history of authoritarianism that complicates the power-hungry narratives of figures like…

Artists must take a cue from America’s most vulnerable residents: its refugees. Before you get back to work at your studio or office, assume, like many of America’s most defenseless immigrants, that everything you treasure— home, family, well being your own hard-fought place in the world—can be taken away from you tomorrow.

 Confessions of an American Refugee, Christian Viveros-Fauné

With Immigrancy, Samsøñ is presenting its final exhibition at 450 Harrison Avenue/29 Thayer Street. With this presentation, we announce our future status as émigré: asylum seeker of culture, nomadic contributor, transitional refugee, fugitive participant, and exiled aspirant in the artistic diaspora.

Boston’s South End has been home for almost 14 years: we have seen the neighborhood, climate and audience change. September is when the students from all over arrive in Boston; it’s always stressful to move all you have to what you think you want. Who and what helps? FEMA? EAS? NOAA? DACA? IKEA? MAGA? TSA? Transnational corporations with the same rights as individuals?!

We have seen local collectors, curators and critics falter and we have seen galleries exhibiting the same demographic of artists, time and time again.

We have decided to pivot our focus: Samson is in the process of transitioning to a private advisorial service with non-profit status. Samson is not closing: in a way, it’s expanding. We will be continuing with art fairs, satellite projects (New Orleans, LA & Atlanta, GA), alternative domestic spaces (Boston, MA & Wellington, FL) and traveling container exhibitions (Istanbul & Havana) in hopes of adding to the diversity of culture and thought.

Constant growth with resources that don’t grow? 

Artists: Kader Attia, Nadia Ayari, Meriem Bennani, Ashley Bickerton, Tania Bruguera, Carlos Jimenez Cahua, Jimmie Durham, Lalla Essaydi, Jonah Freeman & Michael Phelan, Ariel Basson Freiberg, Regina Jose Galindo, Jeffrey Gibson, Josephine Halvorson, Lucy Kim, Andy Li, Glenn Ligon, Carlos Martiel, Gabriel Martinez, Andrew Mowbray, Gabriel Orozco, Daniel Pflumm, William Pope l, Lisa Sigal, Alexandria Smith, Kianja Strobert,  Umar Rashid (frohawk two feathers), Ai Wei Wei, Anicka Yi.