Ms Gabriella Daris

Research project: Yoko Ono's Art of Orientation: Instructionalization and Counter-Institutionalization


This research project provides a historico-ontological art-critical account of Yoko Ono's art to argue that it at once maintains a resistance to established modes of artistic autonomy and sustains its critical social function. Examined within the context of the post-war political climate, artistic debates and socio-historical grounds of the 1960s, which Ono rebelled against through a unique re-working of modernist art, in tandem with the ontological break and linguistic turn of the time, 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. In doing so, the project theorizes Ono's method of ‘instructionalization' as a method of dialectical reversal and a practice of critical reflection and individual, institutional and societal reform to demonstrate its significance as a model for an ontological analysis of Conceptual Art.


I am an art and dance historian, critic, and curator. Formerly an art, dance and film critic at Blouin Artinfo and Modern Painters, I publish broadly across academic and curatorial readership on the intersection between art, philosophy and psychoanalysis. 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), and Yoko Only: P.J. van Sandwijk's Photographs of The Plastic Ono Band (2014 & 2013). I am the convenor of the 1st Yoko Ono International Symposium (University of Cambridge/Anglia Ruskin University, 2019). To date, my research and curatorial projects have been supported by the Henry Moore Foundation; Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation; Emily Harvey Foundation and British Society of Aesthetics.

Areas of research interest

  • German Romanticism and Idealism
  • Frankfurt Critical Theory
  • Philosophy of Art
  • Philosophical Criticism
  • Conceptual Art


  • 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 the History of Art & Literature, 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

  • Kingston University Graduate Research School Activity Fund (2020)
  • Henry Moore Foundation (2019)
  • British Society of Aesthetics (2018)
  • Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation (2018)
  • Emily Harvey Foundation (2018)


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

Daris, Gabriella (2017) Liliane Lijn's Fragments of Memories and The Fragmented Body. In: Liliane Lijn: Early Events, Five Narrative Sculptures. Edinburgh, Scotland: Summerhall, pp. 1-12. ISBN 978-1-9998109-0-0

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

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

Daris, Gabriella (2015) Concerning the spiritual in Jaakko Mattila's art. In: Jaakko Mattila (Tokyo: youkobo art space), pp. 4-5. ISBN 978-4-9908274-1-0

Daris, Gabriella (2015) The veil of ignorance or unveiling Yoko Ono's Cut Piece. In: Scene: Critical Costume, 2 (1-2), pp. 133-145. ISSN 2044-3714

Daris, Gabriella (2014) Instructions as Consensus: Yoko Ono's Fictional Rules. Hysteria, 2. London, U.K.: Square Knot, n.p.

Daris, Gabriella (2013) A journey through the neck of the womb: Annie Sprinkle's Public Cervix Announcement. The Spanner quarterly (On Socking), 9. London, U.K.: Unbound, pp. 4. ISSN 2049-1816

Daris, Gabriella (2013) Doors of Perception: The Thin Veil. In: Kinetica Art Fair 2013. London, U.K.: Kinetica Museum, pp. 28-29

Daris, Gabriella, ed. (2013) Tarik Berber: Heterotopias of Time. London, U.K.: Square Knot.

Daris, Gabriella, Collete, Charles, Melville, Anthony trans. (2013) Pope Joan: A Historical Study. The Journal of the London Institute of Pataphysics, 7 (140). London, U.K.: Atlas Press. ISBN 13:978-1-900565-19-6

Conference papers

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

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; 22-26 July 2019, Belgrade, Serbia. (Unpublished)

Daris, Gabriella (2018) Occult Portraiture: Exploring the notion of the presence of absence in the work of Michael Clark. In: Portraiture: An Interdisciplinary Conference; 13-15 July 2018, Durham, U.K. (Unpublished)

Daris, Gabriella (2017) Theatres of Air: Staging Metaphysics. Rousseau, Artaud, Klein, Ono. In: Theatricality and the Arts Symposium; 23-24 Sep 2017, Lancaster, U.K. (Unpublished)

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; 21-24 July 2017, Winchester, U. K. (Unpublished)

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

Daris, Gabriella (2015) Gustav Metzger's Dancing Tubes. In: #21 Performance Studies international Conference; 18-23 May 2015, Santorini, Greece. (Unpublished)

Daris, Gabriella (2011) Mother Earth Mediations: Turning Landscapes into Bodyscapes. In: Imagining Spaces/Imagining Places Conference; 24-26 August 2011, Helsinki, Finland. (Published)