Presenting visual and performance art in unexpected public spaces.

AiOP 2014: FREE Sneak Peek! Embassy of Goodwill “One Hour of Free Help”

Your name/collaborative or group name

Embassy of Goodwill

The title of your project

One hour of free help

One hour of free help

Embassy of Goodwill.  Photo courtesy of Domenique Himmelsbach de Vries and Marieke Warmelink.

What does “FREE” mean to you?

What is free? Is free the absolute and unconditional? To receive without having to give? To treat each other equally? Is free simply an ideology?

The word free or freedom conveys a social message based on a promise against a certain limitation or repression, but simply does not arise without equality. Free has become a tool for trade. Free travel, free internet, free data.

Freedom is often used as a means to persuade people to choose. To choose between right and wrong, to choose for one or the other, friend or enemy. In fact this is precisely the underlying misconception about being free, which leads to the accumulation of limitations that neglect human rights.

In fact we think freedom is based on an equal exchange between two parties; the one who receives and the one who gives. Only by sharing, one can experience freedom. This is also what we would like to pursue with our project Embassy of Goodwill, one hour of free help.

Why is 14th Street a compelling site for creative response?

14th Street opens up numerous possibilities for artists like us. We, Marieke Warmelink and Domenique Himmelsbach de Vries, are two performance artists who work site specific in response to current socio political questions.

The benefit of working in ‘odd places’ is to engage directly with locals and the passer-by. By doing so we are able to reveal the “denial” of social reality, an impression closer to the surface of every day life. Therefor our approach is based on the voice of the public through interaction and participation. We focus on direct contact through artistic interventions. A street like 14th street helps us to do so.

Over the past few years we have been able to make interdisciplinary work using performance as a tool to engage the audience. Exchange, learning and adaptation plays an important role. This working method enables us to move away from being spectators and creates real interaction with new surroundings.

What reactions are you hoping to draw from the public?

We hope that you are curious, surprised and inspired to book one hour of free help right now!

We would like the widest range of requests for free help. For example, to ask help with solving problems, renovating houses, gardening, Turkish coffee reading, portrait painting, D-J new wave at your party, cook vegetarian and to give advice about everything and many other things. We would like you to ask us to help with things you postponed for days, months even years. Things you simply cannot do on you own or things you have been neglecting for a very long time. With these situations our free help is most appreciated, then we can really make a big change in your live, just by offering a small and simple gesture. We hope to get involved in the most interesting, beautiful and odd situations.

Therefor, book your hour of free help now on

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