Over two months while without work and in self-isolation, Moreno took the first Covid-19 lockdown as an opportunity to consider: What might a visual language of mental disorder look like?
With a history of depression, addiction, disordered eating, and body dysmorphia, Moreno – like many others – found lockdown a difficult time, experiencing a relapse of mental health struggles. PANDEMANIAC was an attempt both to document that experience and to
provide Moreno with a process of art-as-therapy.
While the scenarios shown in the photographs relate directly to the artist’s lived experiences, all is filtered through a heightened and distorted lens. This relates to psychoanalytic ideas of the mask worn as a defence response to present threat, and behind which we can more safely act out our fears. Using a queer domestic toolkit including crafting, dressing up, casting spells and baking, the series privileges metaphor, texture, surface and symbolism as more effective strategies for communicating something about the internal world than representational realism.
By turns playful and unsettling, the series moves through motifs of the current crisis to consider the broader themes it raises: fear, desire, our relationship to food, superstition, anxiety, and the human need to connect.