Ada Muntean, Mediating Illusion. The Temptation to Exist

Estopia Art Gallery Lugano is pleased to invite you on Thursday, July 7, 2022, from 6.00 PM, at the opening of the exhibition Mediating Illusion. The Temptation to Exist, by Ada Muntean, the Romanian artist’s first solo exhibition in Switzerland.

As the title suggests, the exhibition starts from a visual reinterpretation of some key ideas from the Temptation to Exist by Emil Cioran, proposing an artistic transposition of the “thinking doomed to lucidity”. “Masters in the art of thinking against oneself, Nietzsche, Baudelaire and Dostoevsky – wrote Cioran – have taught us to side with our dangers, to broaden the sphere of our diseases, to acquire existence by division from our own being.” “The art of thinking against oneself” and “acquire existence by division from your own being” – between these two milestones, Ada Muntean’s project plays with a whole arsenal of concepts meant to “provide a mediation between reality and illusion, material and immaterial, intellect and affection, certainty and relativity and, last but not least, between reality and its projection in art”.

The temptation to exist – a personal interpretation of Emil Cioran’s book – becomes the temptation to understand and feel life in all its complexity, says Ada Muntean. Thus, the new series of works question reality starting from corporality, by projecting an extremely relative and volatile image of the self, analysing the perverse and interdependent duality between the notions of perception and deception given by contextually placed images.

Mediating Illusion. The Temptation to Exist proposes an interdisciplinary, conceptual and immersive way to explore the expressive potential of matter and the context in which it takes shape. The reflection of a society and its transgressions through the human figure concretizes an artistic approach about the human nature per se and how this human nature becomes socially contextualized. The body and the universe around it become tools for art to sometimes shock, or, with an expression of Cioran, to “alienate metaphysically”, with the stake to perceive the truth in an authentic way. A truth both about the world and about ourselves, turning the known into the unknown and dissolving the boundary between reality and its projection.

Born in 1987, Ada Muntean lives and works in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

She is a graduate of the University of Art and Design Cluj, with a BA and MA in Fine Arts, major Graphic Arts, and a PhD in Visual Arts completed in 2019 at the same institution. She has earned cultural exchange grants at Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (UK), Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts Kracow (Poland), Peckham Platform Art Gallery London and Plan B Gallery, Berlin. Her works were featured in solo shows: Réalités corporelles: des identités incertaines, French Cultural Institute, Cluj-Napoca (2021), Corporealities. Uncertain Bodies, Estopia Art Gallery Bucharest (2020), Blackout.[Follow The White Rabbit], NEW NOW art space Frankfurt (2018), SABOTAGE. Deconstructing The Unforeseen, Camera, Centrul de Interes Cluj (2018), Fluid Identity, FIVE PLUS Art Gallery, Vienna (2017), Self. Perceive/Deceive, Nano Gallery, Cluj (2017), Soft Hollow, Atelier Patru Cluj (2015), Black Fire, Museum of Art Brașov (2015), Interfaces, Visual Kontakt Ulm (2013). She took part in group shows, such as: Smash Cut, E T A J artist-run space, Bucharest (2021), Negotiating Reality,

E T A J artist-run space, Bucharest (2021), Innocence, Estopia Art Gallery, Bucharest (2021); Blurred Is The New ID, Estopia Art Gallery, Bucharest (2020), Breaking (Im)possibilities, Multicultural Center of Transilvania University from Brașov (2020), Process Terminus, Sandwich Gallery project, presented at ArtEncounters Timișoara (2017), Resurrected, FIVE PLUS Art Gallery, during Vienna Art Week (2016), Small Graphic Exhibition, Romanian Cultural Institute New York (2015), Agency of Unrealized Projects, daadgalerie, Berlin (2012), POP–Pick me up Fair – Somerset House, Londra (2012). She contributed with a series of photos included in SUPERBIASuburbia Project at Romanian Cultural Institute Venice, part of the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2010.


Ada Muntean

Mediating Illusion. The Temptation to Exist

Opening: Thursday, July 7, 6.00 PM

Estopia Art Gallery Lugano

Corso Elvezia 9/a, Lugano, Elveția

The exhibition will be open from July 7 to July 30, 2022

Visiting schedule: from Wednesday to Saturday, from 2.00 to 6.00 PM, or on any other weekday by appointment

Curator: Claudio Scorretti