As far as I know, the radio broadcast ‘Le corps utopique‘ is not available in English as yet. Here is my synopsis of the broadcast.
Utopian Topology of the Body
Overview: Foucault provides reflections on both sacred and secular forms of utopia that often seek to escape the limitations and constraints of the human body but actually stem from, enrich and transpose the body in a variety of marvellous ways.
The body: a pitiless place: He starts with Proust and the opening of Swann’s Way where the narrator keeps waking up from sleep to find he is always trapped in his body. He can move with his body but can never leave it. Foucault concludes from this perspective that the body, a ‘pitiless place’, is the ‘opposite of a utopia’. The body is never anywhere else and we are all condemned to remain with its burden.
Utopias against the body: Utopias, on the other hand, work against the constraints of the body, sites imagined outside all sense of conventional notions of place He mentions the escapades in magical stories and fairy-tales and also provides the contrasting example of the cemetery, the tombs and monuments encapsulating through the dead something that outlasts the body, timeless and perpetual. But it is in the various ‘myths of the soul’ that he finds the ultimate utopian desire to disappear from the body, surviving freely and serenely forever.
The utopias of the body: But this is just one perspective of the body and Foucault quickly turns to the body’s ‘own fantastic reserves’. He asserts that the body has its special ‘placeless places’ that are even more profound than magical tales, tombs or the myths of the soul: ‘the body incomprehensible, penetrable, opaque, open and closed, the utopian body’. The body is visible, for example, through others and through looking in a mirror, but also strangely invisible, thoroughly traversed with excitement and desires and, for Foucault, the origin and model of our utopian imagination.
Dressing the body: Foucault also suggests that the human body becomes a ‘utopian actor’ through adorning itself with masks, make-up and tattoos which ‘place the body into another space’, making it a ‘fragment of imaginary space’. And also clothing and uniforms, both sacred and profane, allow the body to be displaced, to live its own fantasies, to be immersed in other worlds and utopian rituals.
The body always somewhere else: So Foucault completely reverses his opening observations. The body is actually ‘always elsewhere’, a placeless site that is forever travelling through, and to, different spaces, with the tremendous power to imagine and realise utopias.
The mirror and the corpse: Foucault concludes his talk by observing that children only start to recognise that they have bodies after a year or so through recognising themselves in a mirror (a stage of development claimed by Lacan). Moreover, he notes that Homer’s Greeks had no word for body except to recognise a corpse. He proposes that the mirror and the corpse perhaps tame and enclose the utopian impulses of the body, but then again, he teases, the mirror and the corpse are both inaccessible spaces in themselves and forever ‘elsewhere’.
Making love: His final thought suggests that it is perhaps in love making – frequently associated with death and the illusion of the mirror – that the body is enclosed and at rest from utopian impulses. In making love, all the invisible parts of the body ‘start to exist’ and we can discover at last the ‘body is here’.
Foucault, M. (2009)  Le Corps Utopique – Les Hétérotopies. Clamecy: Éditions Lignes.
7 December 2016