Now Is The Time, Catalogue essay by David Hunt, published by Dorsky Gallery, NY, 2002

...Caroline McCarthy has a knack for turning plastic bottles into hand grenades. Discuss. Gun-metal gray and various gleaming shades of chrome are the new black. Talk amongst yourselves. You laugh, but McCarthy has come a long way from Haim Steinbach’s lava lamps on angled shelves. How long? Let’s put it this way: when they ransack the average middle-class home for items to bury in the time capsule, future generations will find themselves gazing quizzically at the contents of your medicine cabinet and not at your shoe collection, overstuffed library, or the contents of your refrigerator. There’s just something about lotions, potions and various unguents trapped within a tiny plastic urn that awakens the buried poet of nanotechnology within us all. Face it: microscopic surgical cameras and computer chips the size of a molecule are cool, but for the average CVS shopper, precious beauty resides in a 6 oz. bottle. Or so the success of Sephora would have us believe. Display is everything in retail. The more products you can cram into an over-lit disco-like atmosphere, the more options you provide for the fickle and jaded consumer. McCarthy, on the other hand, has many shapes, but seemingly one option: silver to black.

McCarthy sees the absurdity of industrial design fetishism in a streamlined bottle of Drakkar as much as those travel sized bottles used to store your shampoo and conditioner. If Karim Rashid can launch a career based on a $12 Target wastebasket, then the floodgates of streamlined design are wide open. Notice the ribbed, gun-like grips, the tapered snouts, and the angles for the sake of angles. McCarthy has arranged them on glass shelves so that you stumble upon them as if espying some secret munitions cache. Their grouping has the air of collectibles on display, but more sinister. They lack the wholesome reassurance of action figures, plastic horses, matchbox cars, or even a set of Deco martini shakers. Instead they possess the clinical sheen of the gynecological instruments of Dead Ringers...