Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:
It’s that time again! The Indiana State Fair is an annual celebration of Hoosier pride, farming, food, and 4-H, with amusement park rides, cooking demos, concerts by musicians either nearly or formerly popular, and farm animals competing for cash prizes without their knowledge. My wife Anne and I attend each year as a date-day to seek new forms of creativity and imagination within a local context. At least, normally we attend every year. You can guess why there was no 2020 edition…
In addition to the nonstop celebration of food, for some reason Lego is a frequent sight at our State Fair. 4-H kids and competitors in other art contests routinely turn in works of Lego as their favorite sculpting medium. There’s nothing emphatically Hoosier about them. To my knowledge we have no Lego factory and no Legoland theme park. Indiana was not a beachhead for Danish explorers. The Lego Indiana Jones sets have nothing to do with us, much as we might wish to contrive otherwise. But at our state fair there’s always room for Lego.
This year the programmers leaned in to that Lego prevalence and dedicated an entire exhibit hall to Lego — one man’s Lego creations, in fact. The fairgrounds’ Harvest Pavilion was turned into a “City of Bricks” to play host for a traveling exhibit with the contractually distinctive name “Sean Kenney’s Wild Connections Made with LEGO® Bricks”. The artist in question has had multiple collections of unique giant-sized Lego works tour around the country to trumpet various causes. In the case of Wild Connections, onlookers learn a thing or two about endangered species, wildlife preservation, and other related ecological issues that I remember reading about in National Geographic hardcovers when I was a kid. Maybe someday humankind will figure out how not to drive beasts to extinction, but we’re not there yet.
Meanwhile in the other exhibit halls, Lego proliferated at the hands of younger artists in smaller doses, some using directions and some improvising their own wide world of Lego.
To be continued! Other chapters in this very special MCC miniseries: