Jimmy Young is a character that was created in the course of three days by the actor Torbjørn Davidsen and video artist Joachim Hamou in 1994.
“In meeting a performance like Jimmy Young, we are confronted with our own reluctance to take responsibility. We want to see something that is true, something real, yet we are not quite prepared to forego the security that comes with fiction. Jimmy Young challenges the spectator’s relationship with fiction and reality just as much as it challenges the actor’s relationship with it. We must choose between our hunger for the authentic, after real-life, and our safe corner on the edge of fiction. I’m still a little unsure of which parts of the show I choose to believe are fictitious, and which I then have to deal with as non-fictional, precisely because this has consequences for my own moral conscience. “Anette Therese Pettersen, Kunstkritikk.no
“The show makes me experience conceptual art as horror – nothing is anything more than what the thought makes possible – but it is in and of itself an example of highly skilled, conceptual or reflective performing arts, directed by Kari Holtan.” Therese Bjørneboe, The Norwegian Shakespeare and Theatre Journal
With Hamou behind the camera and Davidsen dressed for the part of Jimmy, they embarked on a reverse educational trip that came to last for ten years. With fake press cards they traveled to the Cannes Film Festival, to the Sufi spiritual head of Egypt, to the beggars and the wealthy in New York, to broken Inuits and drunken veterans in Greenland. Using a film camera and a microphone Jimmy attracted both young and old who were eager to expose themselves and inserted themselves into his story.
When De Utvalgte brought Jimmy Young down from the silver screen onto the stage, the audience got to see the story of an adventure seeker who has legitimized his unscrupulous way of life with a boundless artistic quest for the authenticity of his character. Wearing Jimmy’s shoes actor Torbjørn Davidsen created spectacular situations in his own life without regard for the consequences of his actions; confronted with discomfort he has always been able to move on. But his luck eventually dried up and life in front of the camera began to take its toll.
Jimmy Young by De Utvalgte is a performance that challenges the relationship between fiction and reality.
The concept Jimmy Young had prior to the show already resulted in two exhibitions (Copenhagen and Helsinki), a documentary on NRK, and screenings of Jimmy’s first draft at the UKS Biennial.