acts of art

we are, we are

we are, we are, seeks to change the conversation we have about mental health. Since having been diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder myself, in 2005, this project is both personal and deeply needed socially. Too often people with mental health issues are demonized, portrayed as violent criminals, and wrongfully stigmatized. This social attitude will only change through our direct involvement with the stories of those affected.

we are, we are is a series of performance art events, taking place at High Concept Labs, that address my lived experiences with schizophrenia while allowing room for dialogue. In total, three performances will examine language structure, identity issues (rooted in the perceptions of reality), and symptomology. The final event will be accompanied by a publication which will be given to attendees of the performance, and which examine my experiences through poetry, short essay, and visual means. Following each event there will be a dialogue session in which attendees are encouraged to ask questions about mental health, find common solutions to engaging the subject matter more personally, and share their own stories.

we are, we are will not romanticize madness, but instead focus on the human aspect. This means there may be difficult subject matter, or difficult experiences that are not typically discussed, but, by addressing all aspects of this illness we can form new avenues of healing centered around the individual and the community that supports them. Your participation in this project can help turn the darkness of stigmas into the generous capacity of communities centered around support. Thank you. 


A very special thank you to both 3Arts and High Concept Labs for their continued support.


About Me

Matt Bodett received his MFA from Boise State University in 2011, and taught printmaking there until he moved to Chicago in 2013. Since moving to Chicago he has played an active role in disability advocacy and utilizing artwork to open dialogue around mental health. As a visual artist, poet, and performance artist Matt has had opportunities to share his work at many venues throughout the Chicago including Steppenwolf Theater, Victory Gardens, The Poetry Foundation, Intuit: the Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Evanston Art Center, Gallery 400, and many other locations. His printmaking has been featured in the 3rd Global Print exhibition and the 9th Douro Biennial in Douro, Portugal, as well as print exhibitions in Tehran, Iran: Milan, Italy; and Oslo, Norway. Matt also teaches at Loyola University Chicago, Northeastern University, and is on the advisory board for the Institute for Therapy Through the Arts based in Evanston, IL.

In 2005 Matt was diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder and has utilized the experience of understanding the world anew in his acts of art. Linguistics, psychology, mental health, and phenomenology all play important roles within each act.

For more information you can reach Matt via email at
or stop by his studio in downtown Chicago at 410 S Michigan Ave suite 420 (appointment only)

all image on this website copyright 2018 Matt Bodett and may not be reproduced without written permission from the artist.