Matt Bodett explores mental health in ‘Hamlet’

Matt BodettHigh Concept Laboratories NFP (HCL), a Chicago-based arts service organization, will soon host the final of three performance events by 2018 HCL Sponsored Artist Matt Bodett. Titled lost, lost, the one-night-only performance, taking place this Friday, November 16 in the HCL studio at Mana Contemporary Chicago, will address Bodett’s lived experiences with schizoaffective disorder through the lens of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.


Utilizing a 10-part video installation, original sculptural works and an immersive, live performance, Bodett moves the audience through a 45-minute, multisensory event that examines the conditions of mental health in unfamiliar social and psychological contexts.


“Shakespeare’s Hamlet is one of the many great works of art that, over time, has defined the conditions of familiarity that make it easy to dismiss those suffering from invisible disabilities,” said Billie Howeard, artistic director of HCL. “Matt Bodett is a deeply committed artist and disability activist, and his work in lost, lost presents a truly original reinterpretation and reclamation of the classic tragedy in a brutally honest and experiential context.”


Attendees at lost, lost will also received a limited-edition publication, uniquely designed for the event. Featuring original essays from Chicago-based writer Courtney Graham; Sasha Durakov, a member of the Belli Research Institute; and art and writing from Matt Bodett, the collectible book examines the role of language in schizophrenia, and the need for improved and transparent dialogue about mental illness.


The event is the final of three performances from Bodett’s multimedia series We are, we are, supported by HCL along with 3Arts, a Chicago-based nonprofit that helps artists finance new creative work. The performance will be followed by an audience dialogue and reception. 


The building is ADA accessible, and ASL interpretation will be provided during the dialogue and reception. The suggested donation for this show is $10.


Prospective attendees should note that this performance will contain depictions of suicide and occasionally unsettling subject matter. Contact the artist ( or HCL ( with questions or concerns.


For more information about lost, lost and other upcoming performances at HCL, visit