Max Savage - ERN

The 2021 Frank Ford Commission, ERN: Australia’s Greatest Hoax, is an operatic tour de force that takes inspiration from the notorious Ern Malley Affair. Created by the prolific Max Savage, in collaboration with award-winning composer, Ross McHenry and realist oil painter Josh Baldwin, ERN brings to life one of the most contentious and controversial events in Australian history. Through a surreal, undulating contemporary score and the painting of an enormous canvas these remarkable young artists present an exciting world premiere not to be missed.

The work follows the story of a fictitious body of poetry, created by hoaxers and subsequently published by Angry Penguins, a modernist art and literary journal in 1943. The two conservative writers who fabricated the modernist poetry and author they dubbed Ern Malley, intended to humiliate the Angry Penguin publisher they despised, and the success of their ruse led to a highly publicised criminal trial. Since then, Ern Malley’s poems have become a celebrated example of surrealist poetry that has inspired such great artists as painter Sidney Nolan and author Peter Carey.

This project is a Frank Ford Commission, supporting the creation of new works by South Australian artists.

Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre.


Event details

Venue: Space Theatre - Adelaide Festival Centre

24 - 25 June 2021