Resurrexit, Museo de arte contemporáneo, Valdivia (Chile) 2006

Resurrexit-Valdivia is a multimedia work comprising an installation and an athletic ‘performance’. For the performance, the (14) fourteen loaves of bread were placed on the embroidered handkerchiefs around an area of 10 kilometres adjacent to important historical sites, landmarks, monuments and buildings in the city of Valdivia, in the south of Chile. The artist then ran this circuit, dropping a branch of the Canelo tree as an offering as he passed each site. At the end of the performance, the loaves of bread and the embroidered handkerchiefs were collected by artists and student s of the New School of Visual Arts of the UACH (Universidad Austral de Chile) and lined up along the museum floor as a component of the installation.

Resurrexit-Valdivia is visual multidisciplinary reflection, made up of symbols that fluctuate in time and in human history… emblems which in essence make up my own identity. This work therefore allows me to explore themes related to my spirituality, my social role, and my physical and psychological make-up. Also, it confronts symbols and changes in the physical state, and allows me to de-construct and reconcile in my personal memory the myth of bodily/physical resurrection.

The installation components bear the emblematic weight of the dominating religion (my personal history). Moreover, the athletic performance/run is a competitive act of stamina and speed. The bodily stresses caused by speed, climatic influence, sweat and mental attitude undergo a transformation to become an act of faith and cleansing, all of which contribute to a personal understanding of a new symbolic “resurrection”.

Finally, Resurrexit is a new effort to release my identity from its religious/symbolic chains which are entrenched in my memory. Through this artistic act, I seek to illuminate my inner consciousness and experience first-hand another myth…the resurrection of my ancestral mind.

Artist statement

[Translation] “Four spruce trees are rooted and sprout from the body of an androgynous being, which floats and rises above a wavy emerald-green line of mountains. A caribou walks to the east, and a wolf darts across the middle of the landscape. The wolf and androgen forms intermingle. Overhead, a star shines. Below, a blue serpentine line marks the boundaries of this “territory” …Today, as we were paddling along the shoreline, I saw a grizzly bear making his way across the side of the Wernecke Mountains, and three Peregrine falcons flew over our raft.”
August 6, 2003: Snake River Journal – Yukon

From early childhood, my journals have been a precious personal possession. Their use has evolved and grown with time; they have matured as they follow my journey to become an instrument for recording my life history/story.

Many of these diaries disappeared due to life circumstances. I confess that I keep one such notebook of my past secured in a locked box! It was started in Buenos Aires, to bear witness to and map out my exile and uprooting from my homeland.

I reverently consult my journals that have come into being in these new Latitudes.
As I seek to decode their enigmatic entries…
I see clearly the words and symbols merge to create sweet or brutal poetry;
I see ideograms on paper, gestated and fed by social contradictions and life itself;
I see the red lines of the androgynous leitmotif representing my human “self” and my personal quest for a higher level of consciousness;
And finally, as I finger through their pages, I see a fragile creature of flesh and blood, fraught with feelings and emotions, on a never-ending journey of reconciliation with Heaven and Earth.

As I search for peace, my own territory and truth, my public artworks have, over the years, evolved to become installations and navigational charts painted out on camouflage textile, a metaphorical depiction of the conquest and militarization of our planet. These spaces and “life maps” combine symbols from fluctuating universal memory, emblems of Western culture and ideograms extracted from my personal Oracles.

Finally, re-enacting an ancient ritual, I turn to Nature and kneel before the Canelo, Cedar, Lengawood and Raulí trees *.
I implore them for healing, strips of their woody flesh becoming a part of my cartography as a sacred symbol of my ancestors from the Americas.

José Mansilla-Miranda, November 2007

“Mansilla-Miranda’s art expresses a search for a higher spiritual purpose in life. There is often a dialogue with the animal and plant world with each image presented hieratically on the flat painted surface. This makes his works a kind of cartography of the soul with each symbolic placement within a painting carrying a relative and synergistic weight in relation to the others. We read these painterly images and the living or more arcane elements they reference as a complex and layered form of experiential documentation, at a higher and less objective, above all intense level of expression” (John K. Grande, canadian curator and Montreal-based art critic).

* Canelo = Drimys winteri; Cedro = Thuja plicata; Lenga = Nothofagus pumilio; Raulí = Nothofagus alpina. All are sacred trees of the Aboriginal peoples of the Americas.


  • Born in Puerto Montt, Chile and Living in Canada since 1979. Canadian Citizen
  • Member of Le Groupe Agriculturel Artists’ Collective (1990-1996: Miguel A. Berlanga, Marion Bordier, José Mansilla-Miranda)
  • Member of the Cultural Leadership Committee, Ottawa (1995-1997)
  • Coordinator of the International Festival of Art and Culture, an homage to World Indigenous Peoples in the New Millennium, January 2000, Santiago, Chile
  • Project creator and coordinator of Migrations Nord/Sud-Sud/Nord, a cultural exchange between artists – Centre d’artistes Espace Virtuel, Ville de Saguenay (Chicoutimi), Artist Centre A Space, Toronto, Canada, and the Edesio Alvarado cultural centre (Calbuco) and the Matucana 100 arts centre (Santiago), both in Chile (March 2002)
  • Selected artist participant in the Boreal Rendezvous (July-September 2003)
  • Selected artist participant in the Sixth Rome Biennial of Contemporary Art (2006), Italy
  • Selected artist participant in the International Festival of Contemporary Arts “Body Navigation II”, St. Petersburg, Russia – TanzKontakt_Russia and the National Centre for Contemporary Art / NACCA (July 2006)



1989-91 Diploma of Graphic Design, Algonquin College, Ottawa, ON
1985-88 Diploma Program of Fine Arts, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB
1980-83 Diploma of Engineering Design, Red River Community College, Winnipeg, MB
1974-77 B.Sc., Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
1967-75 Theology, Holy Family Seminary, Santiago, Chile



2006 INRI, Nueva Escuela de Artes Visuales Gallery-UACH, Valdivia, Chile
2006 Heart of the world, Horn Gallery- Kenyon College, Gambier, OHIO, USA
2004 Manna, Calligrammes Gallery, Ottawa, ON
2003 Totems, Galeria Animal, Santiago, Chile ** Catalogue
2002 Ave Mater II, Centre d’artistes Espace Virtuel, Ville de Saguenay(Chicoutimi), QC ** Video
2001 Fiat Lux, Istmo Gallery, Ottawa, ON
2000 Ave Mater, Centre d’exposition Art-image, Gatineau, QC
2000 Prophetic Wheel, Artist Centre A Space, Toronto, ON
2000 The Flag, Casa de la cultura Edesio Alvarado, Calbuco, Chile
1999 Ritual, Artist Centre SAW Gallery, Ottawa, ON
1998 Prophecy, The Ottawa School of Art Gallery, Ottawa, ON
1995 Essences, Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ottawa, ON (Le Groupe Agriculturel) ** Catalogue
1992 Impertinences - Canadian House, Beijing, China (Le Groupe Agriculturel)
- Ufundi Gallery, Ottawa, ON (Le Groupe Agriculturel)
1988 Mythologies, Casa de la cultura Edesio Alvarado, Calbuco, Chile
1986 Roots of Civilization and Genesis, Fitzgerald Gallery, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB


2007 Claroscuro de Gonzalo Millan, Felipe Gutierrez Gallery, UNAM/ESECA, Gatineau (Hull), QC
2005 Totems: Nave de Paz (peace vessel), Taller Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Punta Arenas, Chile
1999 Prophetic Wheel, Kunstlerhaus Hamburg-Bergedorf, Hamburg, Germany
1996 A Ciegas – Serie Aveugle (blind series) Artist Centre 101, Ottawa, ON (Le Groupe Agriculturel)


2007 Six artistes, six rivières, trois pays, Centre d’exposition l’Imagier, Gatineau (Aylmer), QC
2007 Cochonnailles/Piggy Tales, Centre d’exposition l’Imagier, Gatineau (Aylmer), QC
2007 Art is for the birds, Billings Estate Museum, Ottawa, ON
2007 conteARTrebours, Galerie Montcalm, Gatineau, QC
2006 The body navigation II, International Festival of Contemporary Arts, St. Petersburg, Russia. (July 2006)
2006 Intimacy, Centre d’exposition l’Imagier, Gatineau (Aylmer), QC
2006 Ars Tertium Millenium, Sixth Rome Biennale of Contemporary Art, Rome, Italy **Catalogue
2006 Piel (skin), Museo de arte contemporáneo, Valdivia, Chile
2006 Three Rivers/Wild Waters, Sacred Places **Catalogue, CD and Book
- Kelowna Art Gallery, Kelowna, BC
- Art Gallery of Peterborough, Peterborough, ON
- Medicine Hat Museum and Art Gallery, Medicine Hat, AB
2006 Proyecto Adrienne, Galería Azul, National Library, Santiago, Chile
2005 Three Rivers/Wild Waters, Sacred Places
- Robert McGlaughlin Art Gallery, Oshawa, ON
- Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC
2005 Metamorphosis, 30th anniversary exhibition - Centre d’exposition l’Imagier, Aylmer, QC
2005 Images from the soul, Magia del Arte, Biblioteca Central, Simon Bolivar University, Caracas, Venezuela
2004 Three Rivers/Wild Waters, Sacred Places, Yukon Arts Centre Gallery, Whitehorse ** Catalogue and CD
2004 Collaborations, Kunstlerhaus Hamburg-Bergedorf, Hamburg, Germany
2004 Fusion
- Museo de Bellas Artes, Ciego de Avila, Cuba
- Centre d’exposition de l’Alliance Française, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
- Galería de Arte de la Universidad de la Habana, Havana, Cuba **Catalogue
2003 Proyecto Adrienne (The Adrienne Project) Rideau Hall, Ottawa, ON
2003 The Chile Exchange
- Art Gallery of Algoma, Sault Ste. Marie, ON
- VMAC Gallery, Toronto, ON ** Catalogue
2003 La Chèvre, Centre d’exposition l’Imagier, Gatineau (Aylmer), QC
2003 In Terris, Felipe Gutierrez Gallery, Universidad Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM), Hull, QC
2003 Fusion
- Centre d’exposition de l’Alliance Française du Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB
- Centre d’exposition de l’Alliance Française d’Ottawa, Ottawa, ON
2002 Migrations Nord/Sud (Artist exchange)
- Centre d’artistes Espace Virtuel, Ville de Saguenay (Chicoutimi), QC
- Artist centre A Space, Toronto, ON
- Casa de la cultura Edesio Alvarado, Calbuco, Chile
- Matucana 100 art centre, Santiago, Chile
2002 Fusion (Artist exchange with Cuba)
- Centre d’exposition l’Imagier, Gatineau (Aylmer), QC
- Centre d’exposition de la bibliothèque Gabrielle-Roy, Québec City, QC
- Centre des arts de Shawinigan, Shawinigan, QC
2002 Navegaciones y Señalamientos, Galería Centro de Extensión, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
2002 Le paysage canadien, Canadian Embassy, Warsaw, Poland (Le Groupe Agriculturel) ** Catalogue
2001 L’Etre et la Bête, Centre d’exposition l’Imagier, Gatineau (Aylmer), QC
2001 Memory and Identity, York Quay Gallery, Toronto, ON
2000 Iconos Rebeldes, Galería Fundación Clovis Salgado, Palacio das Artes, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
2000 L’Affaire est dans le sac!, Galerie Montcalm, Dans le cadre du bicentenaire de Hull, Hull, QC
2000 Encuentro Internacional de Arte, Homenaje a los Pueblos Indígenas, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Santiago, Chile
1999 Winterlude, National Capital Commission, Ottawa, ON
1998 Recent Acquisitions, Regional Municipality Ottawa-Carleton, Ottawa, ON
1998 VII Bienal de Arte Sacro - Pintura 1998, Palais de Glace, Buenos Aires, Argentina ** Catalogue
1998 Symbol of the Times, Carl Davis Gallery, Ottawa, ON
1998 Invocations, York Quay Gallery, Toronto, ON
1998 Joseph Beuys Was Here, Artist Centre SAW Gallery 25th anniversary, Ottawa, ON
1998 STOP, Freedom, Diversity, Pluralism, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Santiago, Chile
1997 Changing Hands Project, Karsh-Masson Gallery, Ottawa City Hall, Ottawa, ON
1997 IV Indigenous Fair of Art and Culture, Santiago, Chile
1997 Tercera Bienal Bellas Artes de Lima, Museo de la Nación, Lima, Peru
1997 Rebel Icons, International exhibition, Regional Municipality Ottawa-Carleton Gallery
1997 Rebel Icons: re-opens after censorship, International exhibition, Carl Davis Gallery, Ottawa, ON
1996/97 Un Marco por la Tierra, International touring exhibition:
- Museo del Barrio, New York, U.S.A
- Bass Museum, Miami, U.S.A.
- Museo de las Américas, San Juan, Puerto Rico
- Museo de Arte Contemporáneo del Zulia, Maracaibo, Venezuela
- Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Juan Astorga Anta, Merida, Venezuela
- Ateneo de Valencia-Salon Arturo Michelena, Valencia, Venezuela
- Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Sofia Imber, Caracas, Venezuela
- Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Maracay-Mario Abreu, Maracay, Venezuela (Le Groupe Agriculturel) ** Catalogue / Video
1996 In Memoriam: Guillermo Deisler, International touring exhibition:
- Juan Egenau Gallery, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile
- Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Galería Facultad de Bellas Artes San Carlos, Valencia, Spain
1996 Our New Land...our Roots, Regional Municipality Ottawa-Carleton Gallery, Ottawa
1996 Territory, 100 artists of the Americas (book), Caracas, Venezuela
1996 ReGrouping: A Living Legacy, 75th anniversary of the Group of Seven, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, ON (Le Groupe Agriculturel) An educational video produced as a complement to the exhibition / Production Lynn Hill, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection/ MPI Productions Ltd.
1995 Seed - 25 Ottawa Artists, The Ottawa Art Gallery, Ottawa, ON (Le Groupe Agriculturel)
1995 Artists’ Choice, Carl Davis Gallery, Ottawa, ON (Le Groupe Agriculturel)
1994 Die 5. Biennale von Havanna, selection from the Biennale, Ludwig Forum Fur Internationale Kunst, Germany (Le Groupe Agriculturel) **Catalogue
1994 IV Bienal Internacional de Pintura, Cuenca, Ecuador (Le Groupe Agriculturel) **Catalogue
1994 Semantic Sites, Artist Centre SAW Gallery, Ottawa, ON
1994 Via Renovatur / North - South, International touring exhibition:
- Glendon Gallery, York University, Toronto, ON
- Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Santiago, Chile (Le Groupe Agriculturel) **Catalogue
1994 Symbols of Identity, International exhibition, Carl Davis Gallery, Ottawa, ON **Catalogue
1994 V Bienal de la Habana, Havana, Cuba (Le Groupe Agriculturel) ** Catalogue
1993 Drawing the future close: Collective vision, individual expressions, Workscene Gallery, Toronto, ON (Le Groupe Agriculturel)
1993 Impertinences, Permanent exhibition at the Lester B. Pearson Building, Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Foreign Affairs, Ottawa, ON (Le Groupe Agriculturel)
1992 Candy Box, the Christmas Exchange Project, 35 Ottawa artists (Le Groupe Agriculturel)
1990 Exportación
- Galería Centro Habana, Havana, Cuba
- Casa de la Cultura Habana del Este, Havana, Cuba


2006 Nueva Escuela de Artes Visuales, UACH - Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile
2006 Kenyon College (artist-in-residence in collaboration with Prof. Paola Vezzani), Gambier, Ohio, USA
2005 Taller Centro de Arte Contemporáneo (artist-in-residence), Punta Arenas, Chile
2003 Boreal Rendezvous, The Three Rivers Journey (Snake River), Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - Yukon Chapter, Yukon Art Centre Gallery, Yukon, Canada (selected participant)
1999 Center for Metamedia, Plasy, Czech Republic (guest artist)
1999 Artist Centre SAW Gallery, Ottawa, ON (“José Mansilla-Miranda, Artist-in-Residence”)


2006 Canada Council for the Arts (Inter-ARTS travel grant)
2001 Canada Council for the Arts (travel grant)
2000 Canada Council for the Arts (travel grant)
2000 Ontario Arts Council (exhibition assistance)
1999 Canada Council for the Arts (mid-career creation/production grant)
1999 Canada Council for the Arts (travel grant)
1998 Canada Council for the Arts (travel grant)
1998 Special Award of the Jury, VII Biennial of Sacred Art -Painting 1998, Buenos Aires, Argentina
1998 Canadian Museums Association, (short-term study grant)
1997 Canada Council for the Arts (travel grant)
1996 Ministry of Heritage and Culture Canada (Le Groupe Agriculturel)
1996 Ontario Arts Council
1995 United Nations Canada, Canadian Committee for the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations, (Le Groupe Agriculturel)
1995 Ontario Arts Council, (Le Groupe Agriculturel).
1994 Government of Ontario, Ministry of Culture and Recreation, Arts Abroad, (Le Groupe Agriculturel)
1994 Canadian Museums Association (travel grant)
1994 Ministry of Heritage and Culture Canada, (Le Groupe Agriculturel)
1993 City of Ottawa, Department of Recreation and Culture, (Le Groupe Agriculturel)
1990 Ontario Arts Council
1980/87 Manitoba Folk Arts Council
1967/77 Ministry of Education of Chile, President of the Republic Scholarship
1970 Ministry of Education of Chile, Award for the creation of a mural titled La Crucifixión