The Operating System


If you’re in or near New York City, we highly recommend you take a trip to to see the work of the inspiring OPENINGS collective in a truly incredible venue, the church of St. Paul the Apostle. For the enjoyment of our community near and far, Exit Strata will continue to bring you weekly virtual galleries for the duration of the show.
Andrew Berardi (Long Island, NY)

The phrase Frenzy into Folly reminds me of the frenzy surrounding the Lottery.  For certain people the Lottery is driven by greed, which is the LUST for money. As a graffiti artist, I try to portray a positive message in my work that communicates to the youth. My goal is to inspire them to live a creative lifestyle.

Johanna Bartelt (New York, NY)

Since this art exhibit is housed within an actively used church, I’ve been thinking about the parallels between artistic and spiritual practices and how losing sight of what’s important while navigating these paths could refer to the theme. I’ve addressed Frenzy Into Folly through the difficulties inherent to the methods I used in constructing the work. Repetitive layering compensates for the folly of attempting to build stable systems from soft malleable materials. Elaborate knotting needlessly complicates while stylization and reduced size compact and oversimplify. Despite this and the apparent futility of working in these ways, I’d like the resulting forms to be soft and inviting and elicit a tactile response, a means of interaction. My focus here is on process, the learning and expansiveness that come with application more then the value placed on the final object.
Dennis Santella (Brooklyn, NY)
This body of work developed out of a larger project looking at computer screens and how they function as a new place to explore the eternal issues of power, knowledge, and our struggles of conscience and faith.
The photographs on display here developed from photographing television screens after the digital transmission changeover altered the way the image reacts to a weak signal. The altered underlying structure of television transmission created a new space in which to explore the imagery the media provides us with. The political world developed an acute awareness of the importance of appearances since the landmark Kennedy-Nixon presidential debates of 1960.
It is difficult to penetrate the façade of the expertly choreographed and scripted candidates participating in political events carefully crafted for television. By selectively interfering with the transmission I break down these images and see through to something else, not to the truth, but at least to an unscripted version of reality.

Kenneth Walker (New York, NY) 
Rooted in personal history, my work revolves around the nature of monumentality and the prospect of a consolidated identity. I base my abstract paintings on minimalist geometries to create visually oscillating structures that refer to domestic interiors and commemorative architecture. My interest in light and its ability to generate feelings of nostalgia and celebration is reflected in the elaboration of the paintings’ material foundation. Surface divisions are determined by this underpinning, while textured spray paint is used to model light in terms of photography. Rather than clarify spatial relationships, the painted light-leaks and faded gradients have a prismatic effect. Fluctuating between intimately correlated optical and tactile conditions, my paintings aspire to an uneasy conviction.

Lori Merhige (Beacon, NY) 
We assist in the building of grandiose monuments with liquid foundations, whose bricks and mortar are ideology and amnesia.  My current body of work addresses the organic origins of power, and how we often create and support the systems that aid in our own oppression.  I suggest that our misguided motivation is to discover the antidote to our ignoble human condition, yet the result is often a subtle self-annihilation.



If you missed Exit Strata’s introduction to this inspiring collective’s story, or any of the previous virtual galleries, go on and check them out! You can contact the artists featured via their individual websites, or by contacting the curators at or at
Virtual Gallery 1: Hildebrandt, Nelson, Penizzotto, Brennan, Bellucci
Virtual Gallery 2: Berube, Simon, Alderson, Hollars, Rusterholz
Virtual Gallery 3: Gonzalez, Prokopenko, Ivanov, Kilrain, Broughel, Moghaddam
Virtual Gallery 4: Barnes, Mack-Valencia, Vanderberg, Knouse, Aitchison
Location : Church of St. Paul the Apostle
Corner of West 60th & Columbus Ave. (212) 265-3495
New York, New York 10019
[On View Through October 26th. Open Hours: Mon – Fri 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Sat – Sun 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.]
We are grateful to curators Michael Berube and Keena Gonzalez, who have curated these mini online group shows, as well as to participating artist Joey Kilrain, who did such a fantastic job with video production and design, and are excited to share their work with you, as well, over the course of these weeks.
From curator Michael Berube: You can hear a live interview with Frenzy into Folly artist Marjan Moghaddam on Virginia Reed’s “A Woman’s Perspective Now” on PNR, which is now cached and available for download. Moghaddam talks about her work, the Frenzy Into Folly show, and her history as a computer artist — going back to the early years, her experiences living through the revolution in Iran and immigrating to the US, as well as commentary on global and national political, and feminist issues as well. Really amazingly fun rambling conversation with a brilliant interviewer, enjoy it.”
Frenzy Into Folly features work by Andrew Berardi, Anthony Santella, Araceli Cruz, Carrie Elston Tunick, Daniel Nelson, Denise Penizzotto, Dennis Santella, Garry Velletri, Iliyan Ivanov, James Vanderberg, Joey Kilrain, Johanna Bartelt, John Pavlou, Julia Whitney Barnes, Keena Gonzalez, Kenneth Walker, Lori Merhige, Marjan Moghaddam, Mark Brennan, Matthew Farrell, Meg Graham, Megan Hildebrandt, Michael Berube, Oksana Prokopenko, Patricia Bellucci, Rachel Kohn, Rebecca Simon, Robert Aitchison, Roger Geier, Sandra Mack-Valencia, Sarah Hollars, Sarah Knouse, Sherry Aliberti, Steve Palermo, Suzanne Broughel, Tim Rusterholz, Virgil Alderson, and Wen-Chi Chen.

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