exec() has been disabled

Until recently, I had no trouble with my Omeka installation (1.4). When I tried to upload an image, I received the Omeka_Storage_Exception error. When I exchanged messages with my server host support, they replied
"If this required exec() function with PHP then it will not work as we have disabled the exec function."

So, how to proceed? Will upgrading Omeka to 1.5.3 fix this problem, or is this something that I need to negotiate with my server host?

Omeka 1.5.3 still uses the exec() PHP function to do a few things, most importantly using imagemagick to create derivative images.

So we know what hosts to recommend (or not), what hosting company is this?

I have the same problem with a host that disables the exec function. There is a workaround regarding this problem?

There is no work-around. I ended up switching hosting companies to my own virtual server so that I could re-enable the exec function.