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Facing Fire: Art, Wildfire, and the End of Nature in the New West

California Museum of Photography
February 22, 2020 – August 15, 2021

Fire as omen and elemental force, as metaphor and searing personal experience — these are the subjects explored by the artists of Facing Fire. California’s diverse ecologies are fire-prone, fire-adapted, even fire-dependent. In the past two decades, however, West Coast wildfires have exploded in scale and severity. There is a powerful consensus that we have entered a new era. The artists of Facing Fire bring us incendiary work from active fire lines and psychic burn zones. They face fire, sift its aftermath, and struggle with the implications.

Work by:

Noah Berger
Kevin Cooley
Josh Edelson
Samantha Fields
Jeff Frost
Luther Gerlach
Christian Houge
Richard Hutter

Christoph Kapeller
Benoit Malphettes
Anna Mayer
Cody Norris
Stuart Palley
Norma I. Quintana
Justin Sullivan
Joan Wulf

Curator: Douglas McCulloh

Image: Stuart Palley, Fire Over Half Dome, Meadow Fire, 2014. Courtesy of the artist.

Facing Fire + UCR Music

UCR ARTS is collaborating UCR’s Department of Music to present original compositions created by students and faculty around artworks found in the exhibition.

360 Gallery Tour

Douglas McCulloh, curator of Facing Fire, gives an overview and commentary of the exhibition.

For the best viewing experience, please set the video playback resolution to the highest possible setting.

Wildfire photographer Stuart Palley discusses Facing Fire

Stuart Palley discusses the experience of photographing California wildfires as they continue to increase in severity.

Thank you to our sponsors: UCR College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, and the City of Riverside.