i see a woman cryingLet’s hear it for the support act. We know you’re going to turn left when you get to the Tate’s Picasso exhibition (for that way lies the entrance). But do spare ten minutes to enjoy one of the best video installations SevenStreets has seen for a while.

Rineke Dijkstra’s I See a Woman Crying runs until 30 August and is just a perfect marriage of medium and message: What happens when you show a Picasso to a class of ten year old kids? And what happens when you ask them to describe what they think is going on behind the brush strokes?

The image? Picasso’s Weeping Woman. The responses? Pure gold.

Take a transcript from this triptych and you could be listening to alternating snippets from Front Row, The South Bank Show and The Ricky Gervais Podcast.

Is the woman crying because ‘dead souls are entering her mouth’? Or is she crying because she’s happy ‘like they do on the X Factor’?

i see a woman crying 2Hey, you want blue sky thinking – you’d pay thousands for a hot-shot team of consultants to dig responses like these from that sluggish creative team you’ve got up in the marketing department.

Kids might say the funniest things – but quite often, they say the most perceptive things too. Although chances are Picasso’s woman wasn’t crying ‘because her step mother whipped her’. Nice try though.

Dijkstra’s steady gaze captures it all – just as it did when the Dutch born artist set up a video booth in The Buzz club and captured the thrills, pills and gurners of pre-Cream Liverpool.

Since then, Dijkstras’ returned to the city often. She says she finds plenty of inspiration here.

With her steely, unflinching and compassionate gaze, we’re sure she’d find it anywhere. But we’re more than happy she’s a regular visitor.

Reine Dijkstra: I See A Woman Crying (free)
To August 30
Tate Liverpool, Albert Dock

Images © Rineke Dijkstra
Courtesy the artist and Galerie Max Hetzler

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