“The Foreigner” presents an uncanny circumstance where the separation between self and other, local and foreign, is collapsed and confused, and the geopolitical distance the United States and Iran is made personal and local.
For over three months, everyday Americans functioned as real-time local avatars for Iranians overseas. Through simple, mobile technology each local avatar was connected live to an Iranian citizen. The Iranian spoke only to the avatar (through an ear piece) and directed them in who to approach and what to say, as they moved through various public spaces / museum galleries. In this way audiences in the U.S. were introduced to someone who is currently living in an entirely different cultural circumstance through the body of a local citizen right in front of them.