Credits: SphagnumLAB, Turba Tol Hol-Hol Tol at the 59th Venice Art Biennale, 2022, photo by Benjamin Echazarreta.

Turba Tol Hol-Hol Tol

Honorary Mention

“Hol-Hol Tol” is the “heart (tol) of the peatlands (hol-hol)” in the language of the Selk’nam people, one of the first nations of Tierra del Fuego, in Patagonia. “Turba” is Spanish for “peat,” so the title for the Chilean Pavilion at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia Turba Tol Hol-Hol Tol is a rhythmic bi-lingual chant evoking love for peatlands. All over this increasingly hot and arid world, these wetlands are imperiled. Their conservation is intrinsically linked to the future wellbeing of humankind and, in Patagonia, to the resurgence of Selk’nam culture. Selk’nam people freely inhabited Tierra del Fuego and lived in the peat bogs of their ancestral land for 8,000 years, until the colonizers responsible for their genocide arrived. Official history insists that Selk’nam people were wiped out, but today the Selk’nam community rejects that myth, in a movement to be recognized as a living culture with its own language. The Selk’nam Cultural Foundation Hach Saye was an integral collaborator of the creative process for Turba Tol Hol-Hol Tol, which included a residency in Tierra del Fuego, the creation of a series of rumors, a website, a site-specific multimedia installation within the Chilean Pavilion at the Biennale, a peatland science experiment, an olfactory offering, and a book.

Credit: Grounding into the Bog, Turba Tol Residency in Karukinka, Tierra del Fuego, 2022, photo by Benjamin Echazarreta.

Aimed at bringing visibility to the peatlands of Patagonia, the pavilion allowed viewers to immerse themselves in the material and ancestral experience of the ecosystems with a multisensory installation that highlighted a more-than-human aesthetics. Motivated by real commitments to make progress on ecological action, Turba Tol Hol-Hol Tol was commissioned by Ximena Moreno from the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage and the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, curated by Camila Marambio, assisted by cultural producer Juan Pablo Vergara, and brought together an interdisciplinary team of Chilean artists: sound artist Ariel Bustamante, art historian Carla Macchiavello, filmmaker Dominga Sotomayor, and architect Alfredo Thiermann. These artists were guided by co-curatorial conspirators Bárbara Saavedra, an ecologist specializing in biodiversity, and Selk’nam writer Hema’ny Molina, and joined creatively by: Rosario Ureta (design), Mateo Zlatar (web design), Carola del Río (web programing), Sebastián Cruz (museography), Nico Arze and Christy Gast (art direction), Benjamín Echazarreta (photography direction), Isabel Torres (voice), Constanza Güell (managing editor), Fernanda Olivares (Selk’nam guide), Nicole Püschel (climate change and biodiversity), Antonia Peón Veiga (lighting), Susanne Abel, Matthias Krebs, Jan Peters (Greifswald Mire Center), the Carmichael family, Caitlin Franzmann, Denise Milstein, Randi Nygård, Renee Rossini, Karolin Tampere, agustine zegers, Simon Daniel Tegnander Wenzel (scent), and Alessandra Dal Mos (Italian production).


Turba Tol Hol-Hol Tol, the Chilean Pavilion at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia

Curator: Camila Marambio

Sound: Ariel Bustamante
Art History: Carla Macchiavello
Film: Dominga Sotomayor
Architecture: Alfredo Thiermann

Cultural producer: Juan Pablo Vergara

Organization: MINCAP – Ministry of Cultures, Arts, and Heritage of Chile; DIRAC – Cultures, Arts, Heritage, and Public Diplomacy Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile

Commissioner: Ximena Moreno, MINCAP
Assistant Commissioner: Daniela Aravena, DIRAC

Project Management, MINCAP: Carolina Martínez
Producer in Italy, MINCAP: Alessandra Dal Mos

Creative Collaborators:
Selk’nam poetry and song: Hema’ny Molina
Ecology: Bárbara Saavedra
Design: Rosario Ureta
Web design: Mateo Zlatar
Web design: Carola del Río
Book editorial coordination: Constanza Güell
Museography: Sebastián Cruz
Lighting: Antonia Peón-Veiga
Art direction: Nico Arze
Art direction: Christy Gast
Direction of photography: Benjamín Echazarreta
Rumors voice: Isabel Torres
Selk’nam guide: Fernanda Olivares
Climate change and biodiversity: Nicole Püschel
SphagnumLAB: Susanne Abel, Matthias Krebs, Jan Peters, Anja Prager, Greta Gaudig
agustine zegers, Denise Milstein, Randi Nygård, Karolin Tampere, Simon Daniel Tegnander Wenzel, Freja Carmichael, Sonja Carmichael, Elisa Jane Carmichael
Ensayos scents: Jasper Coleman, Caitlin Franzmann, Renee Rossini
Film post-production: Hans Toso, Tiff Rekem, Josh Widdicombe, Rus Gant, Stefan Grabowski

Installation Crew: Rebiennale; Eidotech

Gallery Attendants: Maria Costan Davara, Vittorio Da Mosto, Fernanda Olivares Molina, Malika Mouj,
Isabel Torres

Partner Institutions:
Embassy of Chile in Italy; ProChile; Wildlife Conservation Society – Chile; Fundación Hach Saye; Ensayos; Michael Succow Foundation, partner in the Greifswald Mire Centre

With support from:
Parque Karukinka in Tierra del Fuego; Fundación Arte Precario; Fundación Kreen; Fundación Mustakis; Fundación Arte+; Film Study Center & Department of Art, Film, and Visual Studies, Harvard University; Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm; Collegium Helveticum; Akademie Schloss Solitude; The SeedBox funded by Mistra-Formas, University of Linköping; Torfwerk Moorkultur Ramsloh; Hellmann Worldwide Logistics; Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien; Caspar-David-Friedrich-Jubiläum; Universitäts- und Hansestadt Greifswald; Office for Contemporary Art, Norway; CEINA – Centro de Extensión del Instituto Nacional José Miguel Carrera;; RioLab; Tamaas; TBA21 – Ocean Space; We Are Here Venice.

Víctor Leyton, Denise Lira-Ratinoff, Ivette Martínez, Patricia Ready, Sandra Terdjman, Andrea Tese, Pomp Wong, Ana María Yaconi


Turba Tol Hol-Hol Tol (CL) was a collective project organized by the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage and the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which in this age of climate crisis, sought an experimental path toward raising awareness of and preserving peatlands. For a full list of participants please visit

Jury Statement

Awareness of the challenges posed by climate change, and the various approaches being taken to address it, is increasing around the world. What we appreciated in the Turba Tol Hol-Hol Tol project is its orientation towards peatlands and the interdisciplinary character of their investigation. It is essential to address the issue of environmental conservation not only by developing something entirely new, but also by utilizing the valuable resources and knowledge that already exist, by addressing the local population, like the indigenous Selk’nam people of Patagonia. Thus, the project also addresses social issues and the rights of indigenous people. By highlighting this project, we hope that the world will gain a better understanding of the importance of the wetlands and the crucial role they play in regulating our environment and offsetting the challenges of climate change.

View full Jury Statement here.