Mother tongue, snake hips and carrier of kinship (2022)

As part of the launch of the Mutter Pouch; a commission by Mutter developed by Toër in collaboration with Beau Bertens, we invited writer Emma Singleton to write a piece of text. Emma’s text draws inspiration from the construction and design of the Mutter pouch itself.

An object that carries the aura of polyphonic medieval songs and apron bearers, to collect and protect our personal tokens of belonging. The black satin pouch with fluid embossed swirls has a loose strap and nylon cord that offers its wearer varied ways of moving and carrying it.

The Mutter Pouch was launched as an exhibition at Mutter, Amsterdam in July 2022.

Text by Emma Singleton:
# You sound like your mother. You speak with her words dancing around your mouth as they take over your tongue. When you finally find your breath (to think for yourself) she
seamlessly steps in to finish the sentence you inherited from her. She’s the one that taught your tongue to finesse, to flop, and form words in a way to make sense of the world.

*ball,
bye,
hi,
dog,
banana.

It’s your mother tongue’s ancient melody that empower you to manoeuvre a conversation
into spaces unexplored. Spaces where you’ll have to learn new languages she won’t
understand. Languages that will force your tongue to make movements it’s not attempted
before.

Side stepping, hopping, twisting, swaying, and silvering your tongue to your hips, to your
feet across these spaces. You move like your mother. Rolling your hips from side to side,
with loose kicks and unwinding spins, you tilt your body in counterbalance. Your tongue
does the same as your hands when they reach for another inviting their arms to wrap
around you, inviting their voice to join yours. As the tempo quickens you tie together
snaking your bodies in an embrace across the floor.

This is a kinship which carries you both in the space as you invent a language that binds your
words to your bodies. Founded from each of your mothers’ tongues and built by the
choreography of shared experiences. It’s a kinship that you’ll pass on as time unfolds as your
hips seize up and your tongue slows down.

To be carried by you.
To carry you.

*These are some of the most common first words´

Emma Singleton works as a writer and teaches graphic design at Kingston School of Art, UK