Atos Kills at the Tate / 28 September 2011
Poet, artist and campaigner, Vince Laws, has launched a collection of ‘Atos Kills’ funeral cards in the Tate Modern whilst having his portrait painted. The limited edition collection comprises six cards with hand-written texts in black and red biro.
‘Who gives Atos about the sick?’ asks the first.
‘Atos is a French IT company, paid £100 million a year by the government to take benefits away from the sick’ reads the second.
‘Atos Kills' [allegedly] states the third boldly. ‘Poet Paul Reekie killed himself in June 2010. He left out 2 letters informing him that his Incapacity Benefit and his Housing Benefit had been stopped.’
Card four reads: ‘Last year despite support from my GP, HIV consultant and psychologist – I scored zero points on an Atos medical and my benefits were stopped. I wasn’t even informed. This is no way to treat a mental.’
Card five: ‘Atos has just sponsored the Paralympics in London 2012. The Paralympians must refuse this money – which has been stolen from the sick and disabled.’
The final card reads ‘I went to Atos for a medical last Thursday. Did I get any points? Day of Protest – September 30th – outside Atos offices nationwide.’
Vince has been invited to sit for a portrait by the artist Tanya Raabe as part of the Revealing Culture: Head On Collection. The sitting was open to the public on Wednesday 21 September in the Tate Modern, where Vince’s ‘Atos Kills’ funeral cards were on display.