Dear Mr. President
Cecilie Hjelvik Andersen


Dear Mr. President is a research project on national mottos by Cecilie Hjelvik Andersen. In 2016 the artist started sending letters to each head of state of the member countries of the United Nations seeking information regarding the absence or presence of a national motto as well as interrogating its “social life”, origins and visibility today. With these questions the artist attempts to discuss the sense — nonsense of having a national motto nowadays. Andersen aims to point out the (in some cases) outdated and uncanny content of the mottos seen in the context of current social, environmental and political climate. 

Aware of the impossibility of the task and its unpredictable outcome Hjelvik Andersen has received very different responses from 42 nations so far. A selection of these will be shown together with the letters sent by the artist. Along with the letters there is a series of works of altered maps on display, Panorama (2014), Grande Carte du Monde (2016) and The Big Blues (2016) consisting respectively of shredded and reassembled geographic maps.