born 1976, Bratislava, Slovakia, lives and works in Vienna, Austria
Tóthová came to Austria at the age of 15, having spent the first half of her life under communist rule; she is of a generation quite removed from Lenin. But Lenin and the Maiden represents more than nostalgia for “cozy communism”: it verges on the idol worship an adolescent girl might reserve for her wistful teenage desire. The video starts with Tóthová gently caressing a bust of Lenin and ends with her kissing it passionately. Beneath its immediate humor, the piece explores necrophiliac overtones in the longing for an ideological authority figure certainly better known to her grandparents than to her. In her work Magda Tóthová protests against the antiquated and cliché image Western Europeans often have of Lenin-glorifying people from former communist countries.
Stills from Magda Tóthová
Lenin and the Maiden, 2003
Video Animation, Color, Sound, 3 min
Courtesy of the artist