Fleur Pierets and Julian P. Boom, who have been together for seven years, are planning to have a wedding in each of the 24 countries where same-sex marriage is legal. The artistic duo, known as "JF. Pierets," are mum on specifics of the project, titled "22," but told HuffPost they will take photos and shoot video for an art installation to be exhibited at the conclusion of the project, currently slated to end in October 2018.
Pierets and Boom married in Belgium in 2012 and had been living in Spain for three years, but have since sold most of their possessions and will be traveling the globe with just one suitcase each. They're currently based in New York, where they've begun pre-production on the project in advance of their first wedding, which will take place at Manhattan's City Hall in September. From there, they'll be spending two weeks in each of the 24 countries, starting with the Netherlands in October, and ending in New Zealand by October 2018. (Check out their full itinerary here.)
"Every work is a self-portrait of what and how we feel at that specific moment in time. We're always trying to visualize the questions we ask ourselves on a daily basis," Pierets, a Belgian native, told HuffPost. The idea for "22," she added, came about because the pair found "that not many people are aware of the fact that there are so few countries where same-sex marriage is legalized. We figured that marriage and love ― something that everyone can relate to ― is a perfect starting point to raise awareness."
As the project's title suggests, Pierets and Boom began planning their creative excursion when only 22 nations recognized same-sex marriages. Since then, Malta and Germany have joined the list, with Australia also currently considering legalising same-sex marriage. At present, there are no plans to rename the project because the pair want it to stand as a "time capsule" that will "show that the world is in constant movement." Together, Pierets and Boom are "looking very much forward to all the shifts that will ― hopefully ― happen while on the road."
"Our work is trying to capture current times and how the world functions on the level of gay and gender equality ― how it is changing and evolving," Boom, who originally hails from the Netherlands, said. "It's enriching and necessary to show these perspectives in a positive and beautiful manner because I belief this is the only way by which you can make change."
As they set out to traverse the world, Pierets and Boom certainly have their work cut out for them, but ultimately, they believe their efforts will be worth it.
"Obviously there is lots of planning and practical things to be taken care of. But foremost we want to use this time to get inspired, connect with people, make new work [and] collaborate with other artists," Boom said. "It's a journey we take one step at a time. Otherwise it could become something daunting instead of the celebration that it should be."
Added Pierets, "Have you read Kafka? That sums it up."