Q&A: Expired Eight /w Matteo Varsi

This is the 15th edition of our Q&A blog series titled "The Expired Eight". Our aim is to highlight instant film photographers using expired film in a variety of formats. Today's Q&A is with Matteo Varsi! Varsi's photography lies somewhere between photography and literature. He captures surreal scenes of blues and yellows with his expired film and Polaroid camera. Born in the region of Levanto Italy in 1970, he has been practicing photography since childhood. In 2003, Varsi went on to receive a scholarship to the IIF (Italian Institute of Photography) Milan, where he graduated the following year. In the same year, the Museum of Contemporary Photography Modena acquired one of his photographs. His work was recently featured at the Expolaroid collective  event at the Galerie Le Quai in Montèlimar, France. Connect with Matteo Varsi on his website and Facebook!

Tell us about when instant film came into your life and what inspired to you to keep using it:
Instant film is a world a part, it's something like Toyland for me, once known, it's difficult to get out [of your head]. It helps to keep alive the most fanciful and imaginative part of me.

When did you discover the joys of expired film? What keeps you coming back?
I do not think {it was a specific] point in time. The first experiments I did with a kind of a awareness, were in the 2000s. I was studying and working in the field of photography in Milan and I was also deepening my knowledge of the darkroom. At that time I started a large photographic project using expired material and working on printing in black and white from negative 665. Since then, I love the unpredictable [nature of] in my works and I still use expired material.

How would you describe your work?
I think my work speaks for me and that is a fusion of my passions and what influenced me so far; literature, painting, films, and photographers of course. I like thinking that the unexpected material of expired Polaroids as an opportunity to use a wide "palette" of colors and tones that I can control and repeat.

How did you decide what subjects to photograph? What sorts of things capture your attention?
The subjects of my pictures are all that stirs in me: attention and attraction. I like to talk about the lifestyle of the place where I was born, (Levanto in the National Park of Cinque Terre - Italy). There were ancient fishing villages where the concept of time seems to follow different rules often. I live there now and I'm completely into a new vision of life, in contact with nature and its rhythms.

What types of Instant Cameras do you own?  Which one is your favorite and why?
I have some Colorpack models, a pair of sx70 cameras but my favorite one is the pinhole.

What are the main difficulties and hurdles obtaining and using expired film in this format?
The only difficulty is to keep on finding expired material at prices that aren't out of this world.

Any tips for those interested in experimenting?
Express your creativity without limits and constraints. Art needs to breathe freely.

Do you have any instant photographers that inspire you?
Sarah Moon, Luigi Ghirri, Franco Fontana,