V. I. Lenin Meets J. Walter Thompson

The Daily Pic: At the New Museum Triennial, artists get ad men to polish communism's image.

A detail of a wily video installation shot in the Vietnamese branch of the international ad agency TBWA as its staff brainstorm their way to rebranding the communist movement. The brief came to them from an art collective called “The Propeller Group”, based in Los Angeles and Ho Chi Minh City, and the piece is now in “The Ungovernables”, the second Triennial at New York’s New Museum. Five screens document the five staffers involved in the sober discussions, which took place in Ho Chi Minh City itself. A sixth screen shows the final result, a saccharine animation of happy collectivized citizens, with the tagline: “Live as one and speak the language of smiles … This is the new communism. Everyone’s welcome.”

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