The Scream by Edward Munch
In Munch’s scream we witness the agonised figure against a blood red sky. This is the canonical expression of alienation.
The figure screaming is a monad of anomie. Here we have on display the metaphysics of outside and inside; it is the dialectic of appearance and essence. We ascertain this figure’s pain by employing the hermeneutics of depth.
Yet for many we are past this Modernist way of looking at things: past Freud’s manifest and the underlying latent; and much as I admire Sarte and Camus, we are past the authentic and the inauthentic of existentialism. Meaning is not in the referent (scream) to it concept (inner angst and alienation).
What replaces the hermeneutics of depth is the ludic; the surface, bricollage and jouissance. Meaning does not lie in signifier (word) to signified (thing). Rather meaning lies in the movement from signifier (word) to signifier (word).