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A Backwards Volkswagen Type 2 Calls into Question Accepted Notions of Authenticity

Posted July 15, 2021 8:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: volkswagen

For a few weeks after grad school, Chase Young loaded his Volkswagen Type 2 Mid-Cab project onto a trailer and did nothing but tow it around the country, park it at gas stations, and watch people's reactions.

"People were always saying, 'I've seen one of these before,' or 'I think it's an Australian model,'" Young said.

They hadn't, and it's not, but those were the exact sorts of reactions that made Young giddy.

"I intentionally didn't put a lot of information about it out there," he said. "It was so fun to see all the Reddit threads on it where people debated whether it was real or offered their own interpretations on it."

The photos we saw of the Mid-Cab even led us to question whether the photos were mere photochops or documentation of a serious attempt at production. Instead, they showed the results of Young's master's thesis, one designed specifically to call into question notions of authenticity and absolute truth.

"I consider it both a sculpture and a custom car," Young said. "I'd always taken museums for granted, that they were representing history as it actually happened. But then in the course of getting my master's (in sculpture at the University of Arkansas), I took a museum studies course that talked a lot about how museums are curated and funded and how they have agendas and interpretations of the subject matter. It made me start to question whether something's authentic just because it's behind glass."

So for his thesis, he decided to create a museum exhibit with an absurd centerpiece, but present it as factual and real.

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Re: A Backwards Volkswagen Type 2 Calls into Question Accepted Notions of Authenticity

07/18/2021 7:06 PM

Obviously a later model Brougham...

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Re: A Backwards Volkswagen Type 2 Calls into Question Accepted Notions of Authenticity

07/18/2021 11:31 PM

So are the Karman Ghia and the Type 3 in his driveway "real" or are they just window dressing/false provenance for the Mid-Cab?

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