After the Revolution They Built an Art School Over the Golf Course, Textiles, 2017 (photo by Tim Bowditch)
In April 2017, Sigourney Weaver appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert . During the interview she briefly described the art school that had been built over the Havana golf course. Thanks to her leading role in the Alien franchise, Weaver is tied to the notion of imagining the future.
In 1961, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara played several rounds of golf on the Havana Contry Club's golf course. Prior to the Cuban Revolution, this had been a private space occupied by Havana's elite, adorned with signs that declared 'whites only'. The pair decided to build an art school over the carefully manicured landscape, creating a space for free education and utopian thinking. Their plans were only partially realised.
Since his inauguration, Donald Trump has spent 25% of his time on golf courses. By purchasing membership to these Trump-owned spaces, the wealthy can gain access to the President's ear over a round of golf and a slice of chocolate cake.
The call to build an art school over the golf course remains as vital now as it was in 1961. After the Revolution They Built an Art School Over the Golf Course prefigures a post-Trump moment; one that involves a shift from privatisation and profiteering towards the rejuvenation of the commons, free education and critical thinking.
With thanks to:
Eleanor Meade (Head textiles technician and "measure twice, cut once")
Jackie Brown (Baker)
After the Revolution They Built an Art School Over the Golf Course, Cake and sign for the opening of You're Surrounded by Me at Turf Projects, 2017 (photos by Becky Atherton)