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Propagate Autonomy: On Jonas Staal, Captain America and Willi Münzenberg

Studio Jonas Staal, in collaboration with DiEM25, New Unions: DiEM25, Athens, 2017. Photograph: Jonas Staal, Sporting Basket Arena, Athens. Courtesy the artist
Kim West approaches Staal’s practice through the question of propaganda and asks what a propagandist art could be. Drawing a constellation between the propagandist strategies of Staal, Captain America and Willi Münzenbergl, West reassembles their potential to rethink criticality as a position within the art system. Rather than denouncing art’s autonomy, the author champions a ‘socialist case for the autonomy of art’, claiming that ‘a truly progressive reform can only derive from it.’