I performed at a show at the MoMA. There was this big dinner there, and I was seated in this hall with the mayor of New York and all these extremely wealthy art-supporting and art-buying people. There was a piece of work hanging in the hall—it was a fan. This fan was supposed to swing by the momentum of its own propeller. So, while we were having dinner, the fan was stopped, and the guy next to me, a curator at P.S.1, said, "Look, this is what art symbolizes today." Like, that piece of art is supposed to be moving, but just to have dinner we've stopped the art. That's what New York is like today. You can't have real art happen in an institution because rich people can make the world stop.The conversation drifts towards the subject of authenticity.
That's what I miss, being a real human. Like, I'm just so grateful for the 10 years that I had in Sri Lanka when it was in the middle of a war and I was getting shot at, because now and again I remember glimpses of those times and I just go, "Wow, I'll never, ever see that again in my life. And I'm never gonna feel that, and I'm never gonna feel for a human being like that."While the pregnant M.I.A. can afford to slam the urban hipster segment of her fanbase, that still doesn't explain why she wants to raise her kid here.