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.