December 18th, 2005

Chris Keeley

The International Journal of Impotence Research, Dr. Campbell also found that Ariaal men with many w

Remote and Poked, Anthropology's Dream Tribe

LEWOGOSO LUKUMAI, Kenya - The rugged souls living in this remote desert enclave have been poked, pinched and plucked, all in the name of science. It is not always easy, they say, to be the subject of a human experiment.

"I thought I was being bewitched," Koitaton Garawale, a weathered cattleman, said of the time a researcher plucked a few hairs from atop his head. "I was afraid. I'd never seen such a thing before."

Another member of the tiny and reclusive Ariaal tribe, Leketon Lenarendile, scanned a handful of pictures laid before him by a researcher whose unstated goal was to gauge whether his body image had been influenced by outside media. "The girls like the ones like this," he said, repeating the exercise later and pointing to a rather slender man much like himself. "I don't know why they were asking me that," he said.

Anthropologists and other researchers have long searched the globe for people isolated from the modern world. The Ariaal, a nomadic community of about 10,000 people in northern Kenya, have been seized on by researchers since the 1970's, after one - an anthropologist, Elliot Fratkin - stumbled upon them and began publishing his accounts of their lives in academic journals.

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Chris Keeley

Jean Tinguely and I would frequently go foraging," he recalled, referring to the Swiss sculptor who,

The Robert Rauschenberg Reunion Tour

Captiva, Fla. — It's 7 o'clock on a Saturday evening, and Robert Rauschenberg has just entered his studio, a white loftlike structure overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. At 80, he moves with great difficulty, relying on a walker and two assistants, although he still has his bluff good looks and easy smile. And his excitement is evident as he takes in a bronze sculpture that has just arrived from nearby Sarasota.

Two years in the making, it's a cast of a whimsical piece from 1981 consisting of two Windsor chairs balanced precariously on a pair of weathered wooden steps. "It's been a challenge," he said as he scanned the work, which so resembles the wood original that it's hard to imagine that the bronze version weighs about 1,500 pounds.

"If there had been cobwebs, they would have also been cast," he added with a grin.

It's not unusual for Mr. Rauschenberg, an inveterate night owl, to start working at this hour on projects like the remade sculpture, or the assemblages of photographs and painting that are his focus these days.

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Chris Keeley

Lady and her Bath

Sunday, December 18, 2005; N08

This is a curious picture. Francois Clouet painted it in 1571 as a regal titillation, a peep show for the king. As "valet of the chamber," the agreeable Clouet served four successive monarchs, and he knew what French kings liked. "A Lady in Her Bath" is in the National Gallery of Art. She wears pearls, but nothing else. The curtain's been pulled back, and we're right beside her tub. Lovely as a goddess, she is meant to carry memories of Venus at her bath. Clouet's heated picture (the servant at the fire is fetching more hot water) also holds a warning. The naughty little boy reaching for the grapes is hungry for forbidden fruit, if you know what I mean. The grinning peasant wet nurse suckling an infant reveals what's in store.

-- Paul Richard

"A Lady in Her Bath" is one of two surviving paintings signed by Francois Clouet. It hangs in the National Gallery of Art's West Building, Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW, in Gallery 41 A. Open Monday through Saturday from 10 to 5 and Sunday from 11 to 6. Closed Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Admission is free.

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