IN 1954, Hawkhill in Dundee boasted 13 pubs, two wine merchants, 12 sweetie shops, 15 bakers, 21 grocers, seven ScotsItalian chippies and two bicycle shops. Some 20 years later, it was almost reduced to rubble by redevelopment. While old Hawkhill has not survived, the brutal moments of its transition have, thanks to photographer Joseph McKenzie. Popping out from his post as a lecturer in photography at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art to grab a lunchtime pie at Mrs Wallace's pie shop, McKenzie stalked Hawkhill and its adjacent lanes, back greens, tenement "pletties" and even the interiors of its boarded-up properties, bringing back a record that stretched through 16 years of painful transition. In 2002, he donated his complete study, some 448 vintage prints to the McManus. More than 150 of them are now on show, many for the first time.

McKenzie is a key figure in Scottish photography. He came here in 1964, having been brought up in Hoxton, east London, an area similarly reduced to rubble, although by the V2. In a series of photo essays in Dundee, Glasgow's Gorbals and most remarkably in Ireland, on both sides of the border, during the Troubles, McKenzie combined reportage with passionate moral outrage and a cool, anthropologist's eye towards the human portrait with a surrealist's instinct for the decayed and the discarded.

All of these qualities are amply illustrated in the Hawkhill images.

For every cheeky, cheerful child among the ruins, there is a scene of destruction. Snow-white washing hangs next to heaps of crumbling stones. White-coated clinicians walk through a street that could not be more flattened had a bomb been dropped, like emissaries from the future. In some of the most uncomfortable images, McKenzie's art students pick through the debris looking for inspiration, the dense complex of human inhabitation reduced to picturesque ruins for their consumption.

The most moving sequence of images is that of Mrs Wallace's pie shop. In 1971 it is a faded, yet scrupulously clean place. A modest display of pies sits on a sheet of greaseproof paper upon a marble counter. Mrs Wallace is whitehaired, yet spruce. When McKenzie revisits in 1973, it is an abandoned shell. The paint is peeling, the wood porous, the pies no more. A brass handle is captured as though it is a rare archaeological treasure glittering in the dirt. McKenzie is often talked about next to the great American photographers, but he reminds me most of the Frenchman Eugene Atget, who used to run around the empty streets of Paris in the early hours, recording shop windows, doorknobs and railings, knowing that they might shortly disappear. Like McKenzie, Atget thought he was a documentary photographer, but turned out to be something else: a surrealist, an obsessive, a moralist. Paris and Hawkhill

were lucky to have them.

Until June 12.