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The Covert Louvre by Tony Zhou

Updated: Nov 20, 2020

URBAN SEMIOTICS - The Covert Louvre


An artist, art theorist, collector, KArt founder. Master’s degree of art history, China academy of fine arts. He once worked in the curation department of national art museum, he is the chairman of Internetonal Arts Research Institute (IARI), the member of the royal society of south Australian Fine Arts and Hong Kong Art Club. Participated in planning the Shanghai biennale and translated several academic papers. His images and sounds are included in the Asian art archive. His art works are collected by numerous institutions and private collectors.


When Tian (curator) asked me to write this exhibition review, I said yes without thinking.Not just because we met on a trip to Western Europe - this in itself is a semiotic journey - also because of these rich and interwoven symbological nodes: Two Chinese strangers were riding in the same car on the Champs-Elysees. A French African child who grew up in Guangzhou was one of our fellow passengers, and when we passed by the window of his hotel, we were surprised to find him eating “Master cong chef's table” (a very famous Chinese instant noodle brand) under a lamp with his Chinese grandmother, his reason was that he was not used to French food.

If we remember the example Roland Barthes talked about in mythology, a myth contains a secondary structure of “signifier – signified”, which always leads to spectacle rather than objectivity. So how do we make sense of the interwoven significance of this journey and its bizarre cultural psychological structure?


Tian and her team made great efforts to prepare for this exhibition. At the beginning, she discussed with me the possibility of transporting a conceptual art work “Kowloon city” from China to Paris, although this work was ultimately not included in the online exhibition. And their team's initial plans for an offline exhibition were canceled due to a well-known incident, which adds to the complexity of the city's semiotic network, adding another tragedy to the dense Paris story.

There are so many things out of our control, and the sadness is like being unable to escape Bourdieu's field of fatalism. The meaning of the individual in the grand social network is divided, covered and reconstructed.Just as there is such a complex semiotic network between me and this exhibition, this is the reason why I am curious and recommend this exhibition. I have to mention the term.Roland Barthes in « La chambrePunctumclaire »pointed out that kind of the diversity.In Pan Wei's work, the punctummake up everything.The punctum appear directly in the absence of a foilbefore the white space.The tramp and his wares constitute a kind of beauty. Marinetti says, War is beauty,In Pan Wei's punctum, the tramp's beard andfolds of his coat, his cold and decadent multi-angle pose, form a staring object - a gesture that has a secret relationship with Chinese literati paintings. depths of the Catacombs museum in Paris to the horizon, where a tramp lay brushes, strange scraps of industrial produce, change jars, and the details that Grotte de Lascaux, we use the word Louvre to describe this complex system that was born in the ancient times, and it's probably the pinnacle of the Stone Age (rather than criticizing its primitiveness by classical standards). In the Louvre for tramps, the complexity of every vessel and prop that exists goes beyond our exhibition itself - it probably carries memories of the entire Mediterranean world, some of which even came from as far away as China.

In this process, the signifier of the symbol is suddenly turned on.Semioticforests always have different paths through them,one day I climbed from thearound the corner.His life was rather elaborate, with carpeting, plastic cups,made up the universe - see how you compare to what system.In a situationsimilar to this one,the Warburgian was less apt to describe prehistoric art asprimitive.When you go into


Reny expresses Yin & Yang in a simple and powerful form. Two forms of confrontation in urban semiotics. What is to be said, what is not to be said, what is to be felt, and what is not to be felt, Jacques Ranciere had concluded, is politic. The dichotomy of a city map, the eternal division between city and suburb, the endless entanglement of the other and the subject, are all hidden in a kind of spectral humor.La Distinction, adding semantics (Reny sees it very clearly).Bourdieu's sense of distinction as the nature of the field, the creation of the whole face. The wonderland of the city means to walk through the symbols of different fields.

Halid's Paris Mythology series, in the form of the Bayeux Tapestry, records the goth beasts that began to occupy all dimensions of Paris in the Middle Ages. They climb on various arches or lintels and appear in art and tarot cards. In another piece, Halid depicts the triumphal wings of the Louvre in a medieval way. It's a thematic metaphor, the whole urban semiotic system is a hidden carnival, the symbols dance silently in the plane. Halid from an emotional point of view let's go back to Panofsky's graphics.


The most puzzling pieces in the whole exhibition are Pietro Ballero's Venice series. A series of postcards was filled with messages from different contexts, isolated and alien, like white noise in cafes and squares. Chatter, loudly, intention is buzzing. If the Paris Salon of the 19th century is a world of conversation, then in Pietro's works, this conversation can no longer focus on a public theme. Rather, it constitutes intricate but non-colliding views in a virtual social square. Husserl ended up believing that the world was an onion- like structure, and that the interrelationships of creatures living in layers I and II were mysterious. Thus, the revelation of dishonesty is more like the emergence of secrets than the manifestation of truth. As for the world of disenchantment, Max Weber paints a futuristic picture for us, but human society has not been disenchanted since the 20th century. Instead, God died and the new Pantheon rose. Each individual, each tiny unit, acquires the possibility of a free narrative - They are striving to construct new units of semiotics, and new mythological structures, which will constitute the artistic problem for the next millennium.


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