An arrangement of materials and objects in a room

Luka Vergoz, "studio," 2023; mixed media; dimensions variable.

Luka Vergoz

Graduate Fellowships, 2023 - 2024
UC Davis

Portrait of Luka Vergoz

Artist Statement
Searching for specificity in abstraction, my work begins with discarded scraps—byproducts of construction or casualties of time. All matter used to be something else before it was this, and will become something else after it’s done being this. All making is unmaking.

Drawing on my experiences as a transgender person and an awareness of matter’s transformation over time, I prioritize the process of thingness–how seemingly static objects not so much “are” as “happen.” Zoom out and consider the continuous shuffle of matter over time on a planetary scale. Zoom in to observe how subatomic processes maintain the forms we interact with at our bodily scale. If all being is happening, “form” as noun becomes “form” as verb.

I release boundaries in space and time, allowing components to expand and collapse, to break apart, combine, shuffle and change—presenting and re-presenting themselves in multiple stages of their perpetual becoming.


While at Headlands
My work now approaches the idea that rearranging is the basis of all making, transforming, and happening. This idea emerges from the laws of conservation of mass and energy; if mass and energy are neither created nor destroyed, could all transformations qualify as rearrangements? At Headlands, I will delve further into this question, making work that engages ideas of scale, time, states of matter, and gravity.

Reframing making as rearranging draws attention to the life of materials before and after they are used for making, to what is removed, rearranged out of the frame of the work, or to what the material is originally removed from. Just as years of life and growth are written into woodgrain, I believe history is written into all matter. I’m excited to engage with the history embedded within the setting of Headlands.