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In Pursuit of AuthenticityHANNA NOVAKAnaked figure masturbates amid the gnarled roots of a tree. Her whitebody glows against the dark backdrop of the forest, gyrating violently on theground. Though she is more skeleton than woman, the figure’s thrusts makevisible sharp ribs that protrude under small, emaciated breasts and a flowinghead of hair scattering over the bark. Having escaped her husband after herefuses to continue sexual intercourse, the woman retreats to satisfy her needshere, in the forest, a place that—as she professes to him earlier—harbors hergreatest fears. This is simultaneously a search for pleasure and a provocationof imminent despair.The man, naked himself, emerges from the couple’s cabin and follows herpanting; her short, throaty gasps imply both a struggle for air and an outcryof passion. His search becomes ever more frantic, his pace quickening as heruns among dense trees, following the woman’s breath until he reaches her.He lies on top of the woman, with no words...