Katya Oicherman is an artist, educator and textile researcher. Engaging with video, installation, performance, craft and writing, she explores how personal and collective memories and identities are reflected in, and shaped by, material culture. On the one hand her creative research delves into the textiles in her family stories and histories as Soviet Jews, resulting in animated films, embroidery, creative writing and performance. On the other hand, examining the role of cloth in contemporary art, performance and cinema she creates performative lectures with textiles. Her historical research focuses on the material culture of sleep.
Katya has lived in Russia, Israel and the UK, currently she is based in Minneapolis, USA. She is a visiting research fellow at the Centre for Jewish Studies, University of Minnesota. Recently she was awarded the research residence at the Robert Rauschenberg Archives in New York, and invited as artist in residence for the ShUM cities Jewish Heritage project in Germany. She is the recipient of the Minnesota Historical Society legacy grant for independent researchers. She is a teaching artist in residence at the St Paul Conservatory for Performing Arts and a Continuing Education instructor at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
She studied textile design and art, and modern Jewish studies in Israel and the UK. In her practice-based PhD (Goldsmiths, London, UK) she studied 19th century German Jewish ritual textiles to develop a model of imbuing historical craft artifacts with contemporary relevance through rigorous creative research. She exhibited her artwork internationally. She published catalogue essays for prominent Israeli textile artists and numerous research articles. She taught textile art, design and history and headed the department of Textile Design (Shenkar College, Israel). She worked in the industry as a weaving textile designer for interior textiles.