Nathan For You "Smokers Allowed" Review - AVClub

AVClub: By rights, Nathan Fielder’s name should be mentioned alongside Marina Abramovic, Laurie Anderson, and Robert Rauschenberg in any list of significant conceptual artists. Nathan For You exists at the intersection of performance art, invisible theater, improv comedy, and anti-corporate satire. Stripped of its comedic intent, much of Nathan’s output would qualify as legitimate, grant-winning modern art, which is why it came as no surprise when bemused passersby began spreading the rumor that the Dumb Starbucks store was a Banksy installation. “Smokers Allowed” resembles “Dumb Starbucks” more closely than any of Nathan’s stunts because it offers him the opportunity to create actual conceptual art under the guise of madcap marketing advice. Considering how many reasonable, sophisticated people don’t get Nathan For You on a comedic level, Fielder would probably be more widely known and critically acclaimed if something like “Smokers Allowed” was a deadly serious art installation rather than a goof for a television show.

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