Your professional dance background remains an inexhaustible source of fuel for your projects. Looking at these photographs feels like standing next to a performer in a contemporary production, or watching a still from a Bill Viola video. Also, we find references to Avedon and Muybridge. What do you look to for inspiration for your work? What is your interest in physical movement?
Luis Alberto Rodriguez: I cannot separate my history as a dancer from my experience as a photographer. Dance and theater have shaped me, and I will always look to the endless possibilities of the human body for inspiration. However, photography is a new hobby. For me it’s second wind. At the same time that I was documenting form, there was a huge interest in portraiture.
I think our bodies are containers for information and communication. Each one is made up of unique experiences in our lives. I’m fascinated by what these histories tell us about the way they moved around the world. I’m not particularly interested in dance photography because it’s all too familiar to me. But with my knowledge of the body, I have to get closer to a certain kind of honesty.
I am greatly inspired by many dance and photography artists; Martha Graham, Ohad Naharin, Jose Limon, George Balanchine, William Forsythe, Alvin Ailey, Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Peter Hujar, Dana Lixenberg, August Sander and many more.
An interesting aspect of this book is that it seems to be very musical, as if the pictures are streaked by a sound, now faint, Loud enough that only the subject of the photo can hear it. What role do silence and sound play in your images?
Luis Alberto Rodriguez: Sound is of the utmost importance in the composition. The title of the book stems from the question: what sound do these photographs make? If the people in the book are making a certain voice, what is it? What happens when we stop? How deep can we listen? The “O” is an open symbol for sound, continuity, a gasp in free fall, a collective wail.
© Luis Alberto Rodriguez Courtesy Loose Joints