The works are at once the synopsis, the set, the characters and the props of a play. They represent the different parts of a narrative created out of references to German history, psychology, Greek tragedy, cinema, music, political and social history, neurology, and modern dance, for instance. Hempel borrows a number of different styles and strategies, whether invented by Dada, Constructivism, the Bauhaus or Joseph Beuys. He uses visual metaphors by incorporating images or found objects. Hempel has exhibited regularly since 1991, during which time his work has been seen in exhibitions at art institutions, among them: the Venice Biennale; Tate Liverpool, ICA, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; MoMA PS1, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Portikus, Frankfurt am Main; Secession, Vienna; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.