Madison Vander Ark

My paintings and installations attend to my physical understanding of the world and investigate the bleak, austere sites I encounter every day, while inviting the viewer to imagine the possibilities that lie within.

I am about to go deep-sea diving. They have erected a vast tank of water on land next to the Mediterranean Sea. I strap oxygen to my back and descend into this tank. I go all the way to the bottom. Here, there is a cluster of blue lights shining on the entrance to a tunnel. I enter the tunnel. The tunnel will lead into the Mediterranean. I swim and swim. At the far end of the tunnel, I see more lights, white ones. When I have passed through the lights, I come out of the tunnel, suddenly, into the open sea, which drops away beneath me a full kilometer or more. There are fish all around and above me, and reefs on all sides. I think I am flying, over the deep. I forget, for now, that I must be careful not to get lost, but must find my way back to the mouth of the tunnel.  —Lydia Davis (edited