Franziska Opel’s artistic practice looks at signs and language as visual elements. Her multimedia installations combine language and symbolism with materials in such a way that what is being designated initially shifts and becomes detached from its original reading. Opel’s works therefore move between image and sculpture. By consistently overlapping iconic artistic and cultural symbols, text and material the work triggers a web of associations and ambiguity in the viewer. Opel explores the various properties of each material used and by doing so opens up different levels of meaning. Taking off from sign-like markers and codes that are anchored in collective memory, Opel’s work is transposed into other contexts in order to create new meanings and to question existing ones. Her examination of signs and codes is permeated by supposed contradictions and flourishing moments of tension: Ornaments seem aggressive, materials are found in surprising combinations and internalised meanings are subversively undermined. Thereby, Opel often involves questions of attraction and protection, closeness and distance, daring and comfort.

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