Miss Gabriella Daris

Research project: Instructionalization and Counter-Institutionalization: Yoko Ono in the 1960s


This project investigates the critical constellation of Yoko Ono's early artworks and writings so as to illuminate the conceptual underpinnings that inform their philosophical coherence. It provides an interpretative intervention on the existing literature on Yoko Ono to widen the viewpoint at a historico-ontological art-critical level. Examined within the context of the post-war political climate, artistic debates and socio-historical grounds of the 1950s and 1960s (in Japan, North America, and Western Europe), the research explicates how Ono problematized formal, structural and ontological characteristics of traditional media, on the one hand, and utilized traditional social mediations on the other, to question the notion of authority in the institutional and social context of art and redefine the art and economic system's notion of production and distribution. The thesis argues that Ono's art at once maintains resistance to established modes of artistic autonomy and sustains its critical social function.


I am an art theorist, critic, curator and educator. Formerly a critic at Blouin Artinfo and Modern Painters, I publish across academic and non-academic readership on contemporary art. Solo exhibitions I have curated include Yoko Ono: Looking For... (2019), Liliane Lijn: Early Events, Five Narrative Sculptures (2017), Gustav Metzger: Dancing Tubes Interventions (2015), Yoko Only: P.J. van Sandwijk's Photographs of The Plastic Ono Band (2013) and Graham Stevens: Now History Repeats Itself (2012). In 2019, I convened the 1st Yoko Ono International Symposium held jointly at the University of Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin University. I have held Visiting lectureships at Yale University (2023), Waseda University (2022), the University of Belgrade (2022) and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2005). My academic research and curatorial projects have been supported by grants and fellowships from the Getty Foundation, Henry Moore Foundation, Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Emily Harvey Foundation, Japan Foundation, British Society of Aesthetics, British Association for Japanese Studies, Association for Art History, and the British Council.

Areas of research interest

  • Jena Romanticism
  • Frankfurt School Critical Theory
  • Art Theory
  • Philosophy of Art
  • Philosophical Art Criticism
  • Transdisciplinarity
  • Dada, Fluxus, Conceptual art
  • Curatorial, Museum and Archival Studies


  • MRes in Humanities & Cultural Studies, The London Consortium, University of London
  • MA (Hons) in Dance Writing & Criticism, University of Chichester/Sadler's Wells Theatre
  • BA (Hons) in History of Art & English, Goldsmiths College, University of London
  • Yachtmaster Ocean Certificate of Competence, Royal Yachting Association (RYA)
  • Open Water Scuba Instructor Certificate, Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI)
  • Emergency First Response Instructor Certificate, Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI)
  • Advanced Certificate in Classical Ballet, Royal Academy of Dance (RAD)

Funding or awards received

  • British Association for Japanese Studies - John Crump Studentship (2023-4)
  • Getty Foundation - Getty Library Research Grant (2023)
  • Waseda University - Visiting Research Fellowship (2022)
  • British Society of Aesthetics - Travel Grant (2019, 2022)
  • Association for Art History - Research Travel Grant (2022), DECR Bursary (2023)
  • Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation - Curatorial Grant (2019), Research Travel Grant (2022)
  • British Council Turing Scheme - Research Travel Grant (2022)
  • Henry Moore Foundation - Curatorial Grant (2019)


Daris, Gabriella (2024) ‘Yoko Ono: Music of the Mind – Tate show explores the artist's radical legacy'. The Conversation

Daris, Gabriella (2021) ‘From An Atmospheric Point of View: Gustav Metzger in the Context of the Air War'. Performance Research (On Air), 26.7, pp. 154-162.

Daris, Gabriella (2017) Liliane Lijn: Early Events, Five Narrative Sculptures. Edinburgh: Summerhall. 16pp. ISBN 978-1-9998109-0-0

Daris, Gabriella (2017) ‘Liliane Lijn's Fragments of Memories and The Fragmented Body'. Dispatch Feminist Moving Image

Daris, Gabriella (2017) ‘Anagnosis of Hysteria: Bibliothèque/Amphithéâtre/Shrine Charcot'. Performance Research (On Libraries) 2 (2), pp. 122-129. ISSN 1352-8165

Daris, Gabriella (2016) ‘Interview with Jean-Jacques Lebel: A Trip with the Beat Generation at Centre Pompidou'. Blouin Artinfo

Daris, Gabriella (2016) ‘Interview with Lucinda Childs on working with James Turrell and Philip Glass'. Blouin Artinfo

Daris, Gabriella (2016) ‘Cannes Review: Stèphanie Di Giusto's The Dancer'. Blouin Artinfo

Daris, Gabriella (2016) ‘Cannes Review: Kirill Serebrennikov's The Student'. Blouin Artinfo

Daris, Gabriella (2016) ‘Preview: Mapping Dance: The Scores of Anna Halprin at Museum of Performance + Design San Francisco'. Blouin Artinfo

Daris, Gabriella (2016) ‘Yoko Ono's Sky Piece to Jesus Christ at MAC Lyon'. Blouin Artinfo

Daris, Gabriella (2016) ‘Holy Corners Golf Club: Golf balling as foreplay'. Performance Research (On Game Structures) 21 (4), pp. 134-136. ISSN 352-8166

Daris, Gabriella (2015) ‘Über das Geistige in der Kunst von Jaakko Mattila' / ‘Concerning the spiritual in Jaakko Mattila's art'. Jaakko Mattila Made in Japan 2, Tokyo: youkobo art space, pp. 2-3. ISBN 978-4-9908274-1-0

Daris, Gabriella (2015) ‘Women Atlas', ‘In memoriam, Dame Zaha Hadid'. Global Women Project by Jennifer White Kuri. Los Angeles, U.S.A.: Artists Corner, pp. 2-8, pp. 304-305.

Daris, Gabriella (2015) ‘Preview: Yoko Ono: From My Window at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo'. Blouin Artinfo

Daris, Gabriella (2015) ‘Review: The Melomania of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker in "Bartók/Beethoven/Schönberg"'. Blouin Artinfo

Daris, Gabriella (2015) ‘Review: Decoding The Phantasmagoria of Wayne McGregor's Tree of Codes'. Blouin Artinfo

Daris, Gabriella (2014) ‘The veil of ignorance or unveiling Yoko Ono's Cut Piece'. Scene: Critical Costume, Special Issue, Vol. 2 (1-2), pp. 133-145. ISSN 2044-3714

Conference papers

Daris, Gabriella (2024), ‘Yoko Onos radikale Instruktionen und das radikale Imaginäre' / ‘Yoko Ono's Radical Instructions and the Radical Imaginary'. In: XXII École de Printemps: Social imagining and the role of images, artworks and buildings, Goethe National Museum, Weimar, 17-21 June 2024.

 Daris, Gabriella (2024), ‘The Task of the Critical Archival Researcher in Ten Instructions'.In:The Experimental Archives Symposium, Kingston School of Art, Kingston University, 26 January 2024.

Daris, Gabriella (2023), ‘Harvesting Fragments of the Future: the Afterlives of Yoko Ono's Instructions'. In: ‘Romantic Legacies of the Twentieth Century'. Association for Art History (AAH) 2023 Annual Conference, University College London, 12-14 April 2023.

Daris, Gabriella (2023), ‘Yoko Ono's Dialectics of Seeing'. In: ‘1972, Or Thereabouts'. Centre for Research in Visual Culture, University of Nottingham, 31 January 2023. 

Daris, Gabriella (2022), ‘On Some Motifs in Yoko Ono'. School of Culture, Media and Society, Waseda University, 5 December 2022.

Daris, Gabriella (2021) ‘Yoko Ono's Everyday Instruction'. In: 8th Mediterranean Congress of Aesthetics: Aesthetics of Everyday Life in Contemporary Cities. Online, 9-10 September 2021.

Daris, Gabriella (2020) ‘Artistic and Political Logics, Together Apart: From Benjamin to Rancière'. In: Culture Wars: Identity Politics, Aesthetics and Visual Arts. The Heretic Club, Cambridge Central Library, 7 March 2020.

Daris, Gabriella (2019) ‘Yoko Ono's Concept of Change'. In: Cambridge Festival of Ideas: Change. Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), University of Cambridge, 14-27 October 2019.

Daris, Gabriella (2019) ‘The body of Christ qua the body of the cathedral: decoding the conceptual space of Michael Clark's Five Wounds'. In: 21st International Congress of Aesthetics. University of Belgrade, 22-26 July 2019.

Daris, Gabriella (2017) ‘Theatres of Air: Staging Metaphysics (Rousseau, Artaud, Klein, Ono)'. In: Theatricality and the Arts Symposium. University of Lancaster, 23-24 September 2017.

Daris, Gabriella (2017) ‘Pausing the Dying or Posing for Death? Deciphering the Hieroglyphs in Evgenii Bauer's The Dying Swan'. In: Death & the Maiden Conference, University of Winchester, 21-24 July 2017.

Daris, Gabriella (2016) ‘Breathing Space: Void and the Corporeality of Air in the Work of Gustav Metzger'. In: 42nd Association of Art Historians Annual Conference, University of Edinburgh, 7-9 April 2016.             

Daris, Gabriella (2015) ‘Dancing Tubes Interventions: Gustav Metzger and the Pythagorean Veil'. In: Performance Studies international #21: Aural Lighthouses Symposium, Santozeum, 19-20 May 2015.

Daris, Gabriella (2014) ‘Cut Piece: Yoko Ono and the Veil of Ignorance'. Housmans Radical Booksellers, 26 April 2014.

Daris, Gabriella (2012) ‘Danse Macabre: The Red Shoes versus Black Swan'. British Film Institute, 29 January 2012.

Daris, Gabriella (2011) ‘Mother Earth Mediations: Turning Landscapes into Bodyscapes in Ana Mendieta's Silueta Series'. In: Imagining Spaces/Imagining Places, University of Helsinki, 24-26 August 2011.