Caroline McCarthy, Review of solo show at Parker’s Box by Holland Cotter, NY Times, 2002

Parker's Box resembles a high-end electronics store these days, with a small stock of select merchandise displayed on shelves: gunmetal-gray laptops, cameras and camcorders along with items of more ambiguous and possibly sinister use. Also vaguely sinister is the sound of a steady, repeated metallic thud, which can be traced to the gallery's office. There you find what looks like a hastily deserted kitchen, with the drip of water from a faucet greatly amplified.

All this is the work of the young Irish artist Caroline McCarthy, produced during a month-long gallery residency. The sleek objects on the shelves are actually plastic detergent bottles and fast-food containers that she retrieved from the local trash and painted with a glossy enamel paint used on plastic toy models of military equipment. The kitchen unit was already in place for gallery use; she installed a microphone and amplifiers from a recycled boom-box under the sink and added evidence of messy lives interrupted.

On one level the show sets up an atmosphere of incipient danger, suggesting that mundane objects are potentially explosive, that every home is a possible disaster site, a mood familiar enough in certain parts of the world, Northern Ireland among them. It also encourages a closer

look at what everyday things actually look like: detergent bottles have distinctive designs; ordinary sounds, once isolated, turn peculiarly expressive.

McCarthy's objects also appear in a group show of sculpture at the new Dorsky Gallery (11-03 45th Avenue, Long Island City, Queens, through Sunday), where they look sleek, expensive, machine-tooled. Those at Parker's Box are rougher, cruder, like a kind of folk art, adding further conceptual facets to this promising artist's work.