Speechless Fish: Sophocles Fragment #110 At San Gregorio

The Production…

At 3:57 p.m. on December 23rd, 2015
I performed a site specific production
of an unattributed fragment of Sophocles
in San Gregorio
with eight dead fish on a fence

The weather was partly cloudy
with a temperature of 52℉
The duration of the performance
was two and a half minutes
for an audience of 3

The Fragment…

A chorus of speechless fish made a din
saluting their dear mistress
with their tails

Sophocles, Speechless Fish, site specific, theatre, performance, san gregorio, sophocles, fragment, theater, documention, bay area, photograph, art, installation

The Location…

Franciscan missionary Juan Crespi
noted in his diary
on Tuesday, October 24, 1769:
“This is a fine place, with good lands and an abundance of water, where a good mission could be placed; for this purpose I give it as patron San Pedro Regalado, which name it will keep. It is a pleasure to see the great number of black berries in this place, so thick that they prevent us from walking. After traveling seven hours, in which we made two leagues, we arrived at the camping place, which is in a small valley with a good village of heathen, who received us with much friendliness. They are fair, well formed, and some of them are bearded. They have their village near the beach, about half a league from the camping place; but they also have their little houses in this valley, and at present are living in them. The valley has a great deal of land, much of it good; in the middle of it there is an arroyo with plenty of running water which goes to the beach, on whose edge, lower down, these heathen have their village. The only shortcoming that I noticed was the scarcity of wood, but the mountains are near, and there is plenty of brush from the redwoods.”

During the Mexican era
the area was part of Rancho San Gregoria
named after Pope Gregory I

San Gregorio was a vibrant town in the 1850s
wealthy San Franciscans traveled to
San Gregorio House
by stagecoach
for fishing, hunting, sea bathing, and boat races

The building remains
as does The General Store
operating since 1889

In the nineteenth century
a Chinese community lived along the creek
the buildings washed away in heavy rains

In 1915
the community held seven cheese factories

Sophocles Speechless Fish