July 1 – October 22, 2023
Fire. It’s dangerous and beautiful. It creates its own light and can turn on you in an instant.
The effects of wildfires, which are becoming more far-reaching due to global warming, are drastic. Smoke from wildfires has national impact. And the fire season now extends nearly year-round.
Armed with determination, a Nomex fire suit, an Olympus E-3 camera, and a full complement of safety equipment, Kari Greer, a wildland firefighter, and specialist in editorial photojournalism and wildland fire photography, safely moves through active fire situations to places most photographers could never access.
On an average assignment, Greer drives hundreds of miles, endures 130-degree heat, dodges falling trees and electric lines, sleeps in the back of her vehicle, and prays low-flying planes won’t crush her beneath a load of misplaced fire retardant.
Greer’s career includes two decades as a photographer with the National Interagency Fire Center, based in Boise, Idaho. Though normally used for agency reports, websites, and government presentations, Greer’s body of work reflects a deep understanding of this complex and dramatic subject.
Facing the Inferno: The Wildfire Photography of Kari Greer, will place viewers in the middle of raging wildfires, as they travel side-by-side with fire crews on attack lines, witnessing the intensity of the fires and the experiences of the firefighters who face them. The exhibition, featuring 64 images from Greer’s collection, is organized by the Moscow Contemporary Art Gallery in Moscow, Idaho, to increase public conversation and understanding of this volatile occurrence.
In its commitment to connecting Upstate, SC history with national and global history, the Upcountry History Museum will include a companion exhibition focused on wildfires and wildland fire fighting in the Carolinas. The Carolinas wildfire history, significant wildfire events, and growing number of “Red Flag Alerts” being issued in Upstate South Carolina and Western North Carolina will be examined through artifacts and archival materials.
“I’m a trained firefighter; photography is my tool.”
Kari Greer, Wildfire Photographer, 2012
Facing the Inferno: The Wildfire Photography of Kari Greer is organized by Moscow Contemporary.