In offworld, Dooling’s sculptural practice is positioned somewhere between process and performance. She uses materials from everyday life that through their very accessibility bring with them associations from the greater culture. She incorporates the trace of her own body through obsessive detail work, and more directly by casting herself as star in her videos. A case in point is “REMdress”, a sexy black shift made of 5,000 pairs of false eyelashes that have been painstakingly hand sewn to a custom chiffon slip. Just as the eyelashes protect the eyes so too does the dress protect the wearer. Made from real hair the garment is more talisman than fetish, used for warding off nightmares. Installed near by is the companion video, “Spin”, which features Dooling endlessly spinning in and out of the “REMdress” so that we catch momentary glimpses of her body.
“Pill Planets”, “Moonage Daydream”, “Mars Day was Tuesday” and “Lip Syncing Good Night Moon 100 Times”, all deal with escape through metaphorical voyage. “Pill Planets” are a series of small-scale sculptures constructed from empty pill capsules and address the promises of better living through chemistry. “Moonage Daydream” is a paper, glitter and glue poem that rearranges lyrics from the famously trip induced David Bowie song of the same name in the style of a surrealist game. “Mars Day was Tuesday” is a floor piece made up of hundreds of Winchester shotgun shells and dust masks. The title is a reference to the ancient Babylonians, who named “Mars Day” as Tuesday and performed special ceremonies on that day to avoid the fearsome influence of the war like planet. “Lip Syncing Good Night Moon 100 Times” is a disconcerting lullaby. Shot with an old malfunctioning black & white security camera, Dooling’s orb-like face, repeats the popular childhood story, until the words of the story start to disassociate. The telling begins to take on a macabre cast alluding to a journey of a different sort with the concluding stanza: “Good night stars; Good night air; Good night noises everywhere”. Whether sculpture or video, Dooling’s work revels in this kind of open-ended linguistic play.