Exposure, Felsenfeld and Goodwin’s adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s The Pursuit of the Well-Beloved, is an examination of a photographers power over the media’s portrayal of “the perfect woman,” the pressure that depiction puts on a modern woman all following the outcome of a series of a female model’s portrait sessions.
In a world where models and artists alike are being victims of sexual misconduct, Goodwin, a female librettist, chose to examine Hardy’s plot of an artist creating the perfect woman and questions if this may be a start as to where the problem lies. What exactly happens when a woman exposes herself as an artistic expression? And worse, what happens when that artistic expression is seen as being flawed.
This writing duo parallels Hardy’s literary structure of three 20 year intervals with a modern twist; focusing on the realm of photography, art, and the varying images of the “Eternal Feminine” in the 1970s, the 1990s, and today. Each act is a time capsule of the socio-economic and political times we are living in, under the impeachment of Nixon, Clinton and well, today.
This work’s aim is to expose the abuse of power in our industry, address the media’s portrayal of women, and facilitate discussion of the lineage of #metoo.
The choice of having two women tell this story was a purposeful one, portraying abuse of power that transcends gender that leaves us wondering how many victims’ stories we haven’t heard of.