Mike Nelson’s The Coral Reef is hidden behind an unassuming door in a corner of the Tate Britain. Tate Shots explores the artwork and gets to the bottom of the visitor experience.
It’s a claustrophobic construction of rooms and narrow corridors, each with a hint of life but decaying in front of your eyes. The sprawling work was first shown in 2001 at Matt’s Gallery in London, and is now part of Tate’s collection. In this interview the artist explains the ideas and ideologies behind the work, and tells us why he wants the spectator to feel ‘lost in a world of lost people’.