Michel Handschumacher Photographie

© Michel Handschumacher

Le ruban noir / The Black Ribbon - English version

Michel Handschumacher – 1965, Strasbourg
Luckily, an ‘apprenticeship’ of observation during childhood, followed by studies in architecture, structured and developed my perception, and photography has emerged as my way to « Prendre le Temps du Regard » (taking time to regard). My shots are focused on moments of seeming insignificance, when time seems to stand still.
Whether I photograph the traces of the past, in order to better examine the present, as in the series on the Rivesaltes’ camp entitled : Le temps n'efface pas les erreurs (time has not erased the errors) (VISA OFF 2015 & Public Prize/Video at the RDVI (Rendez-vous Image - Strasbourg), or illustrate the inevitable advance of time in the Mémento mori trilogy (Council of Europe 2015) or display my feelings in Le ruban noir (the Black Ribbon) and Fridur, my visual evocations are always symbolic reflections of my own personal questions, which I offer for an inevitably different interpretation by the spectator.


At last I find myself on the road that encircles this isle.
The accompanying landscape evolves constantly.
It stretches out

Incites me
to write on the black ribbon of this oversized typewriter,
a photographic text
punctuated by rocks and ice,
earth and sky,
constantly merging.

Following the narrow yet regular rhythm of the uneven line,
I perceive the fragile existence of this unique and circular link.

Perpetually absorbed by an unattainable infinity.

Occasional fleeting glimpses of tarmac melt and mix with the natural elements,
sometimes taking a completely new direction and…
leading to a horizon... even further away than the last.

As I traverse these lunar landscapes, they seem to tolerate
the black ribbon,
that stretches out before me like a long scar,
dissolving into the blackness of the lava fields
Or disappearing
under the blinding white snow.

I realise that, surrounded by such powerful natural elements,
all presence on the island becomes insignificant.

I suddenly have a strong feeling of eternal beginnings
when reaching the end of my journey
I find myself returned
to my starting point.
Oh how I wish I could continue on the road...

Photo & Text : Michel Handschumacher
Sound & Music : Bruno Fleutelot
Voice : Pierre Grammont

Subtitles : Cathy Lodge

© 2015 Michel Handschumacher, Bruno Fleutelot – All rights reserved


Originally, "The Black Ribbon" is a photographic series which can be viewed here:


In seeking to work on an upgrade of this photographic series carried out in 2015 and to provide it with a soundtrack, I invited the musician Bruno Fleutelot to join me. Then Pierre Grammont lent his voice to this long ‘black ribbon’.

We started by examining the existing links between fixed image and sound, which culminated in this visual story, composed of fixed plans gradually disappearing in progressive crossfades. The images are mixed in long overlays, whilst the pace gets slower and slower. The continuous narrative displays parallel worlds that intersect reality and imagination.

The final zoom leads towards infinity, a kind of white and contemplative silence …