This article is important because it documents the first solo show of work by Gilles Charalambos (b. 1958), an artist who is well known for his contribution to the field of video art in Colombia. In the article, José Hernán Aguilar discusses the conceptual sophistication of such an ephemeral project. Tortas de trigo [Wheat Cakes], which is a literal reference to Puramís (purós: wheat) in ancient Greek (Latin: Pyramis), was a video installation that included a video monitor, a turntable, fluorescent ultraviolet light, reflective paint, sheets of glass, and mirrors. The idea was for the monitor to show prerecorded feedback of a pyramid as it spun around on the turntable, generating movement that was reflected off the mirrors into the surrounding space. Charalambos illustrated the cover of the catalogue with a picture of his project, describing it as “a dimensional extension of a virtual image via continuous perspective.”
An important forerunner to Tortas de Trigo was the exhibition Video Arte (1976) [see 1130070], organized by the Colombian-American Center in Bogotá, which presented a selection of the works that were shown in the United States Pavilion at the XIII Bienal de São Paulo (1975). For the first time in Colombia, therefore, viewers were able to see the video installation TV Garden (1974) by Nam June Paik (1932−2006), as well as other works by well-known video artists, such as Bruce Nauman (b. 1941), Vito Acconci (b. 1940), and Andy Warhol (1928−87), among others.
Gilles Charalambos has been producing video art since the very early days of his career in Colombia; not only is he an artist, he has also been a promoter of several exhibitions and theoretical events. In 1985, he produced T. Video, a project made for TV that was one of the very few video art exercises to be broadcast on open television in Colombia. In 2000 he presented the project Historia del videoarte en Colombia in which he compiled information on artists, works, events, and a bibliography for this medium for the period 1976 to 2000, (1130869).. (1)
José Hernán Aguilar (b. 1952), a critic and art historian, wrote a column (1980−92) on contemporary art in El Tiempo, the Colombian newspaper. He was a lecturer on Art and Visual Analysis (1989−97) at regional branches of the Banco de la República de Colombia. He was also a Member of the Visual Arts Committee at the Instituto Colombiano de Cultura (1988−90), and sat on the jury for the Bienal del Museo de Arte Moderno in Bogotá on several occasions (1988, 1990, and 1992). He is currently (in 2010) an associate professor at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia at Bogotá, teaching Medieval art history, photography, and contemporary art.