Winter 2018

Creativity meets collaboration


Boris Oicherman’s vision is to promote art that addresses problems in the world—from political uncertainty in Cuba to the scarcity of electric power in parts of Africa.

A native of Russia who has lived and studied in Israel, Great Britain, and the United States, Oicherman brings a broad perspective on such issues to his work as the first Cindy and Jay Ihlenfeld Curator for Creative Collaborations at the U’s Weisman Art Museum. He will curate the Target Studio for Creative Collaboration, where he hopes to facilitate the discovery of new knowledge through partnerships between artists and people from other disciplines.

What is “creative collaboration”?

Generally, each discipline approaches problems from its own perspective and uses its own methods. But innovative ideas and solutions often emerge when people with mastery in different fields contribute to shared questions.

I believe that art promotes creative collaboration because of its open and speculative nature. When artists engage with the academic community in the museum context, surprising discoveries come to light.

What's your vision for the Target Studio?

The studio is a creative platform for open-minded thinking that supports
cross-sectional work. The space acts as the foundation for things to happen and makes a bold statement about problem-solving and idea generation. It could provide opportunities to get out of classrooms and laboratories to explore new creative pathways.

I Would Die 4U, by Rock “Cyfi” Martinez, in the Target Studio for Creative Collaboration’s Prince from Minneapolis exhibit

What projects are in the works?

Many have to do with health care, social justice, and the environment. For example, some artists inject new thinking into medical processes and procedures, like a choreographer who spent time in nursing homes. She used her awareness of the human body to develop knowledge that could benefit nurses. Collaboration leads to innovation, which is what is supposed to happen at a university.