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The Sabancı University’s downtown arts and culture centre approaches the fine arts in an ‘experimental, internationally minded, collaborative and research-based way’.
The gallery occupies the vaults (kasa = safe) of the landmark Minerva Han (built in the early 20th century for the Bank of Athens), at the heart of the old Ottoman financial district of Karaköy. Sabancı University also own the Sakıp Sabancı Museum in Emirgan. The gallery was founded in 1999 and until 2010, it was curated by Erdag Aksel and Selim Birsel, whose noteworthy exhibitions included Yoko Ono and Hermann Nitsch. Since 2011 it has been under the curatorial guidance of Lanfranco Aceti.
The gallery hosts month-long exhibitions 10–12 times per year and has engaged in collaborations – for exhibitions and publications – with important international partners such as Goldsmiths, FACT, Waterman’s, Zero1 Biennial and MIT Press. In accordance with its mission to promote young artists, Kasa has been running an annual residency programme for young Turkish artists since 2012. It also participated in the 12th Istanbul Biennial.
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