Houston Cofield | Common Ground
Common Ground is an on-going project that uses documentary photography as a means to create a fictional narrative about an area in North Mississippi known as Sardis Lake. My grandfather Jack Cofield and great grandfather J.R. Cofield both photographed in this area years ago. They also devoted their lives to photographing portraits of William Faulkner who used this mythical region as the foundation for his fictional Yoknapatawpha County.
This region is rich with history both literal and fictional, and I am attempting to walk the line between those two histories to construct something entirely new through a visual archive. This archive will combine images, text (both literal and fictional) as well as historical documents and objects. Common Ground is not site-specific in that the work produced is not restricted to a specific region, but it does reference the specific site of Sardis Lake throughout the narrative. Eventually I would like for this piece to come to form in a book
The American South is a land of myth, fiction and rich history, and these are the driving forces behind the overall structure of Common Ground. I want this visual archive to evoke and add to the mythical quality inherent in the South while resurfacing the literal and fictional histories of this region in Faulkner's Mississippi.