Ausler Slugworth is the alias of the Accrington based Chris ‘Avi’ Atherton. Known most infamously for his time as a professional skateboarder, Avi’s output spans much further into painting, drawing, sculpture and video, all tailored with his own unique Lancashire inspired aesthetic. Defining skateboarding has been problematic, as it features the athleticism of sports with the choreography and finesse of dancing and martial arts. This has developed two subcultures of skating, one, a more competitive trick based approach focusing on difficulty, and its counterpart, exploring style, trick selection and ingenuity. Avi is at the far end of the latter, where skateboarding itself verges on performance art.

Videos intrinsic relationship to skateboardings development introduced Avi to filming and editing videos. Avi is known for cult classic skate videos such as Avit Video (2007), Shit on the Lens (2003), the legendary Avi’s Christmas Video (unknown), and his most recent collaboration with protégé Jesse James, A Golden Egg (2014). Often editing under the influence of hallucinogenics, Avi’s self-taught editing and camera skills have produced an image unique to him. Using the trope of a ‘skate video’ he has produce a wealth of video works presenting his imagery through animation, performance, medium specificity, and digital FX, usually all alongside skateboarding.

Through social medias use of videos, Avi’s images have been taken out of the context of the skate video into uploaded stand-alone videos - a selection of which are featured in this exhibition. Producing these works with the final scope of a skate video, these pieces show the workings of an artist presenting a vision outside the conventions of ‘art’, where the skate video context has become a platform for free, raw, and radical expression.

In this small collection of videos Avi uses in-camera editing to combine sound and image as he records, performs and builds his microcosmic world. The sound and image both present his imagery, while addressing wider issues of capitalism, consumerism and skateboarding. 

Ausler Slugworth’s exhibition marks one year of XVIIX. He was selected in the discussion of what constitutes ‘video art’ in an age of technological consumerisation. Video art has risen with videos accessibility, as consumerism influences both the spectator and the artist. Avi is an example of how consumer modes of production and presentation such as YouTube, Instagram, Vine and Snapchat can benefit outsider-artists working in video through more accessible contexts. The works were sent via Whatsapp.