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UAL Research Online

The Botanist

Barrada, Yto and Rughani, Pratap (2009) The Botanist. [Art/Design Item]

Type of Research: Art/Design Item
Creators: Barrada, Yto and Rughani, Pratap

The Botanist investigates and visually reveals a garden of plants native to the continents of Europe and North Africa, some now endangered. Rughani worked closely with the director Yto Barrada and was given complete autonomy for the camerawork. The Botanist was shot in Umberto Pasti’s garden on the Atlantic coast south of Tangiers. Rughani made two field trips (six weeks) to research gardens and stories.

Rughani’s contribution to knowledge was to devise a novel form of camerawork to give centre-stage to plants and planting. Rugani filmed at ‘plant level’, exclusively within the frame of one metre’s distance to the ground. Rughani’s camerawork departs from the conventions of garden documentary with its linear, presenter-led narrative. Rughani’s filming does not follow Pasti’s garden tour for his friends, and it is not synchronized with their conversations. Positioned edge of frame in the mid-ground/back-ground, human presence is de-centred; plants and their relationships were filmed in the foreground with varying depths of field. The camera work interleaves static, tripod-mounted close-ups with hand-held tracking shots, extending Rughani’s thinking on the theory and practice of the long take.

Rughani led cross-cultural documentary seminars with Moroccan film-makers and artists in Tangiers-brokered by the Documentary Film-Makers’ Group with EU support.

The final cut of The Botanist premiered at Modern Art Oxford (2009).

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Communication
Date: 2009
Locations / Venues:
LocationFrom DateTo Date
Modern Art, OxfordApril 2009UNSPECIFIED
Measurements or Duration of item: 21 mins
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2013 13:35
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2014 17:14
Item ID: 5744
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/5744

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